TV and Film Director Mauled to Death by Sharks in New Zealand (Video)

Witnesses mourn in Auckland
Witnesses mourn in Auckland
 Getty Images

A filmmaker from New Zealand died Wednesday after being pulled underwater by a great white shark while swimming off the coast of Auckland.

Adam Strange, who produced commercials and a short film, was swimming about 650 feet off the shore of Muriwai Beach when he was attacked, The Daily Mail reports. The 46-year old's peril brought out rescue boats and a helicopter, both of which aimed gunfire at a group of sharks that had rushed to the struggle. The sharks ultimately left the scene but not before Strange had been killed. His body was found half an hour later.

It was the first recorded shark attack off mainland New Zealand since the 1970s.

The director's work was largely focused on television commercials for the Asian market, with ads for Pepsi, Toyota, Hyundai, Suzuki, Firestone and telecom companies in his portfolio. According to his website, Strange once had been shortlisted for the Young Directors award at the Cannes International Advertising Awards.

He also directed a short film, Aphrodite's Farm, which appeared at multiple film festivals, including Berlin in 2009, where it won a Crystal Bear from the youth jury.

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