2 Mar 2013

Shark attack beach deserted

6:01 pm on 2 March 2013

Surf lifesavers at west Auckland's Muriwai Beach say beach goers are avoiding the area, but they're assuring people the water is safe after Wednesday's fatal shark attack.

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.

Head of the volunteer lifeguard service at Muriwai, Tim Jago, says for a beautiful Saturday, Muriwai Beach is deserted.

Mr Jago says normally thousands of people are there at the weekend, but only a dozen have ventured into the water on Saturday.

He says other west coast beaches have reported similar turn-outs.

Mr Jago says he's confident numbers will be back up to their normal level within a fortnight and that he's 100-percent certain the shark that attacked Mr Strange is dead.

Muriwai Beach reopened to the public on Saturday after the rare shark attack last week.

Police and emergency services were called to the beach and an officer went out in a boat and fired shots at the shark, which then disappeared.

Radio New Zealand's reporter said people were at the beach on Saturday morning and but only a few were in the water, mainly surfers and lifeguards.

Muriwai resident Debbie Hood said Mr Strange's death was a tragic event, but he loved the sea and she believed he would have wanted people to enjoy it.

Volunteer lifeguards were briefed by shark expert Mike Barna on Saturday who told them a fatal attack is very rare and would be unlikely to recur in their lifetime.