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New Zealand swimmer Adam Strange killed in rare shark attack

Adam Strange was killed by a shark, possibly a great white, while swimming near a popular beach in New Zealand.

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The beach where Adam Strange was fatally attacked has been closed. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

A New Zealand man was attacked and killed by a shark, possibly a great white, while swimming off a popular beach near Auckland on Wednesday.

The BBC reported the attack happened around 13:30 local time at Muriwai Beach. Police attempting to rescue the man shot at the enormous predator, possibly 14 feet long, before it disappeared.

The man has been identified as Adam Strange, aged 46 or 47.

Fisherman Pio Mose witnessed the horrifying incident.

"All of a sudden... we saw the shark fin and next minute, boom, attack him then blood every where on the water," Mose told Stuff.

"He was still alive, he put his, head up, we called him to swim over the rock to where we were.

"He raised his hand up, and then while he was rising his hand up we saw another attack pull him in the water.”

Strange’s body has been recovered and the beach has been closed.

Shark attacks are rare in New Zealand, Reuters reported. Official figures show there have been 14 reported fatal attacks since records began around 1837.

The Agence France-Presse said it was the first confirmed shark fatality in the country for more than 35 years.

"There are much lower levels of shark attacks here than in Australia," Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the Department of Conservation, told the Associated Press.

"It's possibly a function of how many people are in the water" in New Zealand's cooler climate.

The BBC said authorities are not sure what species of shark attacked Strange, but great whites had been spotted in the area recently.

Strange's family issued a statement saying they were in shock and requesting privacy.

‘‘The family are grieving the loss of a glorious and great father, husband and friend,’’ the statement said, according to Stuff.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/130227/new-zealand-shark-attack-adam-strange