News

Shark victim's widow got news via text: 'It was Adam'

Meg Strange, right, the wife of shark victim Adam Strange, with a family friend at Muriwai Beach yesterday for the blessing. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Meg Strange, right, the wife of shark victim Adam Strange, with a family friend at Muriwai Beach yesterday for the blessing. Photo / Brett Phibbs

SOON after dropping off her husband Adam for a swim at Muriwai Beach, Meg Strange received news that changed her life forever.

She was having coffee with a friend at the nearby cafe when they heard there had been a shark attack.

Mrs Strange tried to contact her husband, who she expected to be on the beach after swimming from nearby Maori Bay.

When there was no response, her friend sent a text message to Muriwai Lifeguard Service chairman Tim Jago.

"I got the text, 'I hear there's been a shark attack'," Mr Jago told the New Zealand Herald yesterday.

"I said, 'Yes, I'm on the beach now.'

And she said, 'I'm having a cup of coffee with Meg. She can't contact Adam.'

"And I had to send a text back saying, 'It was Adam.' That's how quickly it happened."

About a dozen support people met Mrs Strange at the surf club rooms - a new building for which Adam had worked hard to raise money.

The 46-year-old television commercial and film director was training for a King of the Bays ocean swim.

Mr Jago made the formal identification of Mr Strange, who suffered terrible injuries in the prolonged attack. The ferocity and determination of the 3-4m great white shark stunned those who rushed to help.

"He wasn't letting go. Normally two boats out there, guns being fired and being whacked over the snout with a paddle a couple of times would be enough."

The lifesavers knew within minutes who the victim was.

"We knew he was training there and someone said one of ours was out there, so we had a quick text around and no one could make contact with him."

Meg Strange returned to the beach yesterday with family and friends for a blessing ceremony.

Arm in arm, they took off their shoes and let the waves lap at their feet while local iwi wailed karakia into the waves.

Friend Adam Stevens said: "It was a very dramatic sort of way to go. I can't think of anything, in a strange sort of way, more fitting. He just needed an explosion or something thrown in there for good measure."

Family members were struggling to come to terms with their loss, Mr Stevens said.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet. [Adam's daughter] Indigo is 2, so it's not something she's comprehended yet. His wife is an incredibly strong woman ... but I don't think you can describe the shock and anguish she's going through."

The family were now concentrating on the funeral, which will be held on Monday afternoon at the surf club.

Eyewitness filmed police shooting of shark. Watch the video below

Teenage surfer haunted by shark attack ordeal

A 14-year-old surfer who was the last person to see Adam Strange alive says he is haunted by the ordeal.

George Maoate was surfing at Muriwai with a friend when he saw Mr Strange swimming.

"I was just beside him. I stopped and he carried on. He was way out and took a left ... and that was the final time we saw him."

Seconds later, he heard Mr Strange cry out for help - and the water turned "dark red".

"I was just sitting out there looking at the horizon seeing if there were any sets [of waves] and all of a sudden there was red. Just red everywhere."

George then saw a commotion on the shore. "The fishermen were going crazy yelling for help and the whole gannet colony just flew up and circled the area - I'd never seen anything like it."

He struggled to make sense of what was happening around him. "I couldn't think. It was happening too fast, adrenalin was pumping ..."

George could remember hearing Mr Strange's desperate cries for help and his frantic arm waving above the waves. He was going to kick his board towards him but when he next looked up, Mr Strange was gone.

On the beach, people yelled for everyone to get out of the water and it was then, when George heard the words "shark attack", that he realised what had happened and how close he had come to the killer.

"I was trembling. I couldn't think at all. No emotions. Just adrenalin pumping really bad."

The horror has stayed with him. "I re-lived the moment last night in my dream. I couldn't sleep that well ... It's just terrible."

Topics:  editors picks, new zealand, shark attack



Bluesfest royalty to drop by

GUITAR LEGEND: Santana at Byron Bay Blues Festival 2013.

Legends to grace Bluesfest' stage in 2017.

On Wright track to crown

TOP LEAD: With four wins on the board, Tyler Wright  will be hard to stop and is a sure bet to claim this year's WSL World Women's title.

HAS Tyler Wright already stitched up this year's world title?

Call for more Tweed special ed places

SUPPORT: Jacob Lorenzo, 18, from Tweed Heads South struggled to find a special education position when he moved up to the Tweed.

More special ed places needed in Tweed.

Local Partners

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Callea channels legend for Glitter

WHAM: Anthony Callea plays the Glitter Festival on October 8 at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

Anthony Callea brings the songs of a star to the glitter strip.

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record