Suspected Shark Attack: Surf Life Saving Patrol Update

Friday, 8 January 2021

Jan 8, 2021

Press Statement

Surf Lifeguards assisted in the recovery of a suspected shark attack victim at Bowentown, near Waihi Beach, yesterday afternoon.

In light of this incident, the charity has provided the following updates:

  • The local council has chosen not to close Bowentown/Waihi Beach today.
  • Otawhiwhi Marae have instated a rāhui spanning the North End of Waihi Beach down to Bowentown Heads and in harbour to Ongare, Tuapiro & Tanner Point. The rāhui prohibits the collection of shellfish and all fishing and will remain in place for a week from today (ending Jan 15th at 7am).
  • Observational patrols will take place at Bowentown today but flags will not be put out.
  • Flagged patrols will take place at nearby Waihi Beach and Island View, but these are weather-dependent.
  • Surrounding beaches will be patrolled as usual today.
  • From tomorrow morning (Jan 9) all patrols will resume as per usual.

Our collective thoughts are with the Surf Lifeguards involved in this tragic incident, as well as with the patient’s whānau and loved ones.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand staff members and volunteers are not able to provide comment on the specific nature of this incident as it is now a police matter.

All other related enquires should be directed to the Media & Communications Manager (details below).


For more information, please contact:

Mackenzie Koppel
Surf Life Saving NZ Media & Communications Manager
021 757 433