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Woman dies after shark attack at Waihī Beach

A woman has died in a shark attack at Waihī Beach, Bay of Plenty, today.

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The victim is a woman in hear early twenties, sources tell 1 NEWS. Source: 1 NEWS

Emergency services were called to the beach at around 5.10pm after the woman was injured in the water, suspected to be a shark attack.

Police confirm the woman died at the scene. A St John ambulance source told 1 NEWS the woman was in her 20s.

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Police have confirmed a woman has died at the scene. Source: 1 NEWS

Two ambulances and a rescue helicopter were sent to the scene. Westpac Rescue Helicopters confirmed they were called to a shark attack at Waihī Beach but were stood down.

Paramedics attempted to perform CPR after the woman was attacked, the source says.

A member of the public said the Coastguard advised everyone at the beach to get out of the water after the death.

Tadhg Stopford said he arrived at the beach moments after the attack.

“We arrived moments later, and within five minutes three more paramedic vehicles, a fire engine and a helicopter had arrived at the beach," he said.

“What looked like an IV bag was held up by someone. Vigorous CPR was being applied.”

People have been seen gathering at the local Coastguard building tonight.

People gather at the Coastguard building at Waihī Beach, Bay of Plenty. Source: 1 NEWS

The local surf club confirmed they were responding to "an incident of that nature" when asked about a possible shark attack today and have deployed a jet ski to the other end of the beach.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark tweeted her condolences tonight.

“Tragedy has struck our community at Waihī Beach where a woman died in a shark attack late this afternoon,” she said.

“Deepest condolences to family & friends; this is devastating news. Solidarity with local emergency services in attendance.”
 

The popular Bay of Plenty beach has a history of shark sightings, particularly within the last few weeks.

A video sent to 1 NEWS shows a great white shark cruising around Mercury Bay in the Coromandel, around 100km north of Waihī Beach, yesterday evening — just under 24 hours before the attack.

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The large shark swam up to a group on their boat. Source: Supplied

Since 1900, there have been 11 confirmed fatal shark attacks in New Zealand, not including today's death. 

The most recent was a swimmer in Muriwai, north of Auckland, in 2013.