New Zealand: Bronze whaler and white shark involved in fatal attack

Victim was attacked by two sharks

By Yvonne Tahana of the NZ Herald,
Mon, 4 Mar 2013

A bronze whaler shark and a great white were both involved in the death of swimmer Adam Strange at Muriwai Beach last week, according to the chairman of the Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service.

Tim Jago was in charge of coordinating the lifeguard response to the fatal attack, and it was also up to him to formally identify the 46-year-old’s body.

He excused himself from the funeral service being held this afternoon at the surf club to give a detailed account of the attack by the two species.

It was important to all involved that the exact chronology of events was put on the record, he said.

The two sharks involved were initially a bronze whaler and then a white pointer, said Mr Jago.

He said Mr Strange had phoned lifeguards at 12.36pm to say he intended to make a training swim a couple of times from Maori Bay to Muriwai’s main beach.

Lifeguards saw him complete the first swim, then walk back along the track to Maori Bay.

At 1.15pm Mr Strange entered the water, Mr Jago said. “Almost immediately Adam was subjected to the first of two shark attacks by what we now know to have been a bronze whaler shark.

“It is apparent that Adam unwittingly swam into one or more sharks feeding in shallow waters close to shore.

“Within a very short space of time – 90 seconds – Adam was subjected to a second and fatal shark attack; this time by a white pointer.”

Mr Jago said from the extent of Mr Stranger’s injuries, his death was almost instant.

The white pointer then carried Mr Strange’s body 300 to 400 metres towards the main beach.

Two lifeguards attempted a rescue, driving an inflatable boat into the white pointer and clubbing it with a paddle.

The pair realised Mr Strange was dead and decided it was too dangerous for them to remain because there were other sharks in the area.

Soon afterwards two more rescue craft were deployed and police fired 12 shots at the shark, as it was still “harassing the body”.

Mr Jago said an analysis of video footage by emergency services gave him confidence the shark had been killed by the gunfire.

He said he understood there were a number of unique characteristics which had driven interest in the incident.

“Firstly the event was witnessed from start to finish. Secondly there has been a response to try and save Adam, something that’s not often possible in shark attacks. Moreover we have Adam back, and that is not often the outcome in such events.

“Thirdly, there has only been one previously documented situation where a white pointer shark has operated in conjunction with a bronze whaler to attack a human.”

Source: Otago Daily Times

Video below:

Uploaded by itnnews on 04.03.2013:

Hundreds of people have lined the streets holding surf boards for the funeral of Adam Strange, who was killed by a shark in New Zealand. . Report by Sophie Foster.


1 Comment

  1. Angel

    Adam had the worst day of his life. God Bless him.
    I always try to understand the events in interactions with sharks. This fatal interaction may be one of the best documented ones i came in contact with. It is videotaped as well. Of course, that tape will not be made for public.
    He called the life savers to watch over him. But there was nothing life savers could have done especially after the second shark’s involvement. The only time frame he could have been saved was the 90 seconds between the 2 bites, if he could have survived the injuries of the first bite. He was very unlucky to swim at that exact moment in time . With just a few minutes difference, he could have been keep swimming without any interaction. These are weird times and moments of persons faith. The probability of him being there and the first shark being there in immediate water at the same instant is so slim. Than he had a second shark around that is attracted to movements and blood in water, the chances might well be less than one in a million ??? 
    If he was not hit by the Bronze Whaler and injured, bleed; would the Great White come after him ? I question so many things and variables that could have been different. But this is the only way that it actually happened out of millions of variations… 
    I guess when it is time for us to go, there is nothing that can stop or change it.
    Again, God bless Adam, rest in peace.

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