TAPU LIFTING CEREMONYY HELD FOR MURIWAI SHARK VICTIM
Updated 15 minutes ago
Family and friends have attended a ceremony at Muriwai Beach to remember the man killed in a rare shark attack.
Film-maker Adam Strange, 46, a television commercial director and filmmaker, was training for an ocean swim near the west Auckland beach when he was attacked by at least one shark, believed to be a four-metre-long great white on Wednesday afternoon.
PHOTO: RADIO NEW ZEALAND
Up to 200 people attended a tapu-lifting ceremony on Thursday, with many wading into ankle-deep water afterwards and embracing. A karakia, or prayer, was spoken at the edge of the sea and over the boat that brought Mr Strange's body to shore.
Police and emergency services were called to the beach on Wednesday afternoon and an officer went out in a boat and fired shots at the shark, which then disappeared.
The Muriwai Lifeguard Service has stopped searching for the shark. Chairperson Tim Jago said aerial searches on Wednesday night and Thursday morning failed to locate any sharks in the area and video footage obtained indicated that the shark that attacked Mr Strange has died.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist Malcolm Francis said sharks are extremely common in waters around New Zealand. There are many sightings each year but surprisingly few attacks.
Some people attending Thursday's ceremony said the attack would not put off swimmers and surfers for long and some planned to be back in the water in a week.
Muriwai Beach is to remain closed until Saturday, but other west Auckland beaches have reopened.
Adam Strange had been directing TV commercials since 1995. His first short film, Aphrodite's Farm, screened at the 2008 New Zealand International Film Festival and went on to win the Crystal Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Memory of attack
A woman who survived a shark attack 21 years ago says she has never forgotten the feeling of being pulled underwater.
Andrea Rush, a former Radio New Zealand journalist, escaped a shark off the coast of Vanuatu by luck rather than design.
Ms Rush told Morning Report that, although shark attacks are rare, people should take care not to swim near fishermen or seal colonies.
A colleague of Adam Strange's said the last thing he would want is hysteria about shark attacks. Mike Bhana, who has made 18 shark documentaries, said it is unlikely that the shark will still be around the area.
Mr Bhana told Morning Report the attack needs to be kept in perspective and although it was a horrific incident, he said New Zealand waters are generally incredibly safe.
Acknowledgements: © 2013, Radio New Zealand