Woman dies in suspected New Zealand shark attack

By: AFP      Published: 06:40 PM, 7 Jan, 2021
Woman dies in suspected New Zealand shark attack

A woman has died after an apparent shark attack at a popular New Zealand beach, police said Thursday. 

Police were called to Waihi Beach on the east coast of the North Island in the early evening following reports a woman had been injured in the water.

"Initial indications suggest she may have been injured by a shark. Sadly she died at the scene a short time later," police said in a statement.

If confirmed, it would be the 25th shark attack fatality recorded in New Zealand and the first in seven years since a 46-year-old man died at Muriwai near Auckland.

Waihi Beach promotes itself as "one of New Zealand’s safest surf beaches and home to a vibrant and friendly beachside community."

However, there have been occasional shark sightings in the area in recent years including a 3.5 metre (11ft 5in) male last February.