Since records began, New Zealand has suffered 12 fatal shark attacks dating back to the 1850s, with at least 50 non-fatal attacks recorded. New Zealand's last fatal attack was in February 2013 when a man was killed swimming at Muriwai Beach. Following the tragic death of 17-year-old female surfer Laeticia Brouwer in Western Australia on Monday, we take a look at five of New Zealand's most shocking fatal shark attacks.
5. Oakura Beach, Taranaki, 1966
Tragedy struck the region of Taranaki when 15-year-old New Plymouth schoolgirl Rae Marion Keightley was fatally mauled while bodysurfing off Oakura Beach. Keightley had her left leg bitten from thigh to calf before surfboard rider Anthony Johns brought her to shore after the attack.
4. Marine Parade, Napier, 1896
Napier suffered its first recorded fatal shark attack when 26-year-old Bright Cooper was killed while bathing in the ocean. According to the Poverty Bay Herald
, Cooper walked out 22 metres into the sea. A companion spotted a shark and called Cooper in to shore, throwing stones at the shark in an attempt to scare it away. However, Cooper was then attacked, his left arm bitten clean off while he suffered bites to other parts of his body.
3. St Kilda Beach, Otago, 1967
Twenty-one-year-old surf lifesaver William Black was participating in training drills at sea when he suddenly spotted a shark circling and waved out for help. According to witnesses, Black was less than 100m out before he was taken. Black's belt washed ashore on rocks near the St Clair saltwater pool the next morning, but it is not known if his body was ever recovered. The species was thought to be a white shark.
2. Muriwai Beach, Auckland, 2013
In February 2013, 46-year-old swimmer Adam Strange was attacked and killed while swimming from Maori Bay to neighbouring Muriwai Beach. Witnesses say Strange raised a hand signalling for help before the shark, believed to be a 12-foot great white, returned for a second attack. Police shot the shark before it swam away, but the fatal attack caused a 48-hour closure of Muriwai Beach. Locals were left shocked, and West Coast beach Piha also closed for the morning following the attack. This is thought to be the first ever shark fatality on the West Coast of Auckland; the closest previously being in the Manukau Harbour in 1966.
1. St Clair Beach, Dunedin, 1964
Dunedin was left shaken after a brutal attack that killed 19-year-old lifeguard Leslie Jordan. Two former St Clair lifeguards reached Jordan, bringing him back to the beach on their surfboards after a shark ripped off his right leg during a training swim. Jordan died from his injuries. St Clair appears to be a hotspot, with non-fatal attacks occurring on the famous beach in 1888, 1968 and 1971. The region also suffered another fatality when spearfisherman John Hitt bled to death after an attack at the Aramoana mole in 1968.
Fatal shark attacks in New Zealand:• Wellington Harbour, 1852• Kumara, West Coast, 1896• Marine Parade, Napier, 1896• Moeraki, 1907, 1967• St Clair, Dunedin, 1964• Manukau Harbour, Auckland, 1966• Oakura, Taranaki, 1966• St Kilda, Dunedin, 1967• Aramoana, Dunedin, 1968• Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty, 1976• Muriwai, Auckland, 2013