15:28 27 February 2013
A man has died after being attacked by a shark in New Zealand on Wednesday, 27th February, police have confirmed. The swimmer, believed to be aged 47, was close to Muriwai Beach near Auckland when the attack happened at approximately 1.30pm local time (12.30am GMT).
According to a police, the shark was shot at by officers as they recovered the man’s body from the water. It is not certain what type of shark was involved in the attack, as it soon disappeared from view.
Inspector Shawn Rutene said: "Police and surf life savers went out in two IRBs (inflatable rescue boats) and fired on the shark. It rolled over and disappeared."
The police statement said the shark could have been as large as 4metres long, being between 12 to 14feet. There are rumours in the press which claim that more than one shark was present, with some reports stating that there were as many as three sharks.
It is understood that Muriwai Beach as well as other surrounding beaches were closed as a result of the tragedy.
A shark expert from New Zealand's Department of Conservation, Clinton Duffy, explained to the Associated Press that shark attacks such as this one are not common. He said: "There are much lower levels of shark attacks here than in Australia.”
Mr. Duffy added that “it's possibly a function of how many people are in the water'' when it comes to the country’s cooler weather. He also said that nine out of ten times a shark will ignore people, but that they can bite.
At least 10 deaths have resulted from shark attacks in New Zealand since the mid nineteenth century. A report by the BBC states that there have been 11 fatal attacks since 1847, whereas the Mail Online states the death toll sits at 14 since 1837.
New Zealand comprises of two main islands, the North and the South, with Auckland being situated in the North Island. Each year many tourists and travellers visit the country, which is well-known for the hit film Lord of The Rings.
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