An award-winning short film director was attacked and killed Wednesday by a "huge" shark off New Zealand in a bloody attack being blaming on a great white.
Police Inspector Shawn Rutene said in a statement that the swimmer, identified by his family as Adam Strange, was about 220 yards offshore when the shark attacked. He said police in inflatable lifesaving boats shot at the shark, which they estimated was 12 to 14 feet long.
"It rolled over and disappeared," Rutene said.
Pio Mose told The New Zealand Herald he watched the attack while fishing on nearby rocks. Mose said he saw the "huge" shark attack the victim, who was swimming alone from the bay back to the beach, about 50 yards from where Mose was standing.
Mose said the man struggled with the shark and it swam away -- but quickly returned. He said three or four other sharks came to the area after the second attack.
"I yelled at him to swim to the rocks. There was blood everywhere," Mose told the Herald. "The water was red. It's pretty scary... All I was thinking was I wanted to jump in the water and help, but I didn't want to get attacked by a shark too."
The body was later retrieved. Muriwai Beach near Auckland was closed after the fatal attack.
The family of Strange, 46, released a statement calling the married father of one "a glorious and great father, husband and friend." His website says his films, including Aphrodite's Farm, have been featured at numerous international festivals.
Shark expert Malcolm Francis told One News that based on the reports it is likely the attack was by a great white shark. Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the Department of Conservation, said New Zealand is a hotspot for great white sharks, and other potentially lethal species also inhabit the waters.
Attacks are rare. Duffy estimated that only 12 to 14 people have been killed by sharks in New Zealand since record-keeping began in the 1830s.
Around the world, sharks attacked humans 80 times last year, and seven people were killed, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File. The death toll was lower than it was in 2011 but higher than the average of 4.4 from 2001 to 2010.