Award-winning TV and film producer Adam Strange was mauled to death Wednesday by what is believed to be a great white shark off the coast of New Zealand. Strange, 46, was swimming off of Auckland’s Muriwai Beach when he was attacked and pulled under.
According to one witness, the shark swam away after the initial attack, but returned with several others before rescuers could reach Strange. Police arrived at the scene and fired at least 20 rounds at the animals from a lifeboat and helicopter in an attempt to scare them off, according to CNN.
The sharks eventually let go, but Strange was already dead. It took rescuers 30 minutes to recover the body.
While the species of shark remains unconfirmed, environmental officials said that multiple great whites had been spotted in the area over the weekend near Muriwai. Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the country's Department of Conservation, said that even though New Zealand is a hotspot for great whites, they rarely attack people. “Ninety-nine percent of the time they ignore people,” he said. “Sometimes, people get bitten.”