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Shark Kills N.Z. Swimmer in Second Fatal Attack in 4 Years

A shark killed a man swimming off a beach in New Zealand in the second fatal attack in the nation in four years, prompting police to shoot at the animal from rubber dinghies as it mauled his corpse.

The man, aged in his 40s, was swimming about 200 meters (650 feet) off Muriwai Beach on the west coast of the North Island when he was attacked by a four-meter shark at about 1:30 p.m. local time today, New Zealand Police said in a statement.

“Police and surf life savers went out in two inflatable rubber dinghies and fired on the shark,” Inspector Shawn Rutene said. “It rolled over and disappeared.”

There have been 44 recorded unprovoked shark attacks in New Zealand since 1852, according to Te Ara: the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Great White Sharks have been responsible for most of the 11 fatal attacks where the shark has been identified. The last deadly incident was in 2009, when a swimmer was killed at Clark Island, according to Shark Attack File Info.

“We have an eyewitness that said there were possibly two sharks that were there,” Rutene said in a televised news conference at the beach.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at

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