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New Zealand filmmaker Adam Strange was killed in a rare shark attack off the coast of New Zealand.
NBC News reports that Strange, 46, was swimming 200 miles offshore near Muriwai Beach when the attack took place, police confirmed. It took place at 1:30 p.m. local time Wednesday.
Witnesses called police and lifeguards rushed to save Strange, but did not arrive in time. New Zealand Police Inspector Shawn Rutene stated that the shark is believed to be at least 14 feet long.
“The family are grieving the loss of a glorious and great father, husband and friend,” Strange’s family said in a statement to The New Zealand Herald. “We are in deep shock and are still trying to contact overseas family members, so discretion and privacy would be appreciated until the family are ready to make any further statements.”
He is survived by his wife and their infant daughter. Strange specialized in short films, directing Aphrodite's Farm which won an award at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. He had also directed commercials.
According to the BBC, shark attacks near New Zealand are very rare. Just 11 fatal attacks are on record since 1847 and the last one was in 1976.
Authorities have closed the beach and are investigating the incident.