Muriwai Beach was reopened today after Wednesday’s fatal shark attack. But there were few people in the water.
RadioNZ: Shark beach deserted
News from Auckland Council – March 1
Muriwai Regional Park has reopened to the public following the fatal shark attack on Wednesday afternoon, but the beach remains closed. The park and beach were closed on Wednesday afternoon so park rangers and Muriwai Surf Club could safely manage the area.
The beach remains closed and is expected to reopen on Saturday. If visiting Muriwai, please observe safety signage and advice from lifeguards at all times.
If you see a shark in the water, or are told of a shark sighting by lifeguards, please leave the water immediately and tell others around you.
News from Surf Lifesaving NZ and Auckland Council – February 28
All west coast beaches have returned to normal operating status other than Muriwai, which will remain closed until Saturday after yesterday’s fatal shark attack. This decision has been made by Auckland Council together with Surf Life Saving Northern Region, Police and the Department of Conservation.
Mayor Len Brown says yesterday’s tragedy at Muriwai has touched the hearts of Aucklanders. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Adam Strange and also with the people of Muriwai, who have rallied to support each other through this time.
“In the coming weeks, we will talk more about our preparedness to deal with rare incidents like this, but for now we must let the families have some privacy and allow our Lifeguards and park rangers to continue with their good work,” he says.
Surf Lifeguards will continue to have a presence on Muriwai Beach until it is reopened and park rangers will be assisting with visitor management.
Although the chances of a shark attack like this are very low, Surf Life Saving has some guidelines in place for safe swimming and to help reduce the risk of incidents involving sharks and humans.
Patrolled areas marked by the red and yellow flags remain the safest place to swim.
Surf Life Saving Northern Region lifesaving and club support manager Tom Burgess says swimmers should always obey the advice of Surf Lifeguards and heed all flags and notice board warnings. “Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted or if advised by the Lifeguards that a shark has been sighted. If you sight a shark yourself make sure you alert others,” he says.
Mr Burgess says it’s only natural that people may feel nervous about entering the water but a few general rules will help reduce the risk of a shark attack taking place.
“Swimmers should avoid entering the water after dusk, at night or before dawn when some sharks are typically more active. You should also avoid swimming in, or near, murky or silt-laden waters or near schools of fish. Never swim or surf alone and, of course, one of our key safety messages is always – if in doubt, stay out,” he says.
Mr Burgess says, with council support, they have also sought expert advice from their counterparts in Australia and from the Department of Conservation’s shark expert.
News from Auckland Police – February 27
A man has died after a shark attack at Muriwai. At about 1.30pm this afternoon the man was found dead in the water. He had been being bitten by a large shark. The man’s body was recovered by Police and Surf Life Saving members.
Inspector Shawn Rutene said the man, aged in his 40s, was swimming 200m offshore north from Maori Bay to Muriwai at about 1.30pm when he was attacked by a shark. His injuries were fatal.
“Police and surf life savers went out in two IRBs and fired on the shark. It rolled over and disappeared.”
The shark is thought to be about 12 -14 foot long.
Muriwai and surrounding beaches have been closed. This situation will be continually reassessed.