Shark attack survivor back in the water
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 6:07p.m.
By Tom McRae
Despite Muriwai beach remaining closed, one shark attack survivor says she wouldn't hesitate getting back in the water.
Andrea Rush was almost killed when a shark attacked her two decades ago.
Ms Rush was swimming in Vanuatu when the shark came out of nowhere. She lost half her blood just getting back to the boat and still has the scars from the attack.
Since then she has been diving with sharks and completed ocean swims, but says there are places she won't swim.
“With Muriwai there were fishermen and there is a seal colony off Oaia Island that has been growing in the last 10 years, and great whites do breed in our harbours - the Manukau and Kaipara - and so do other sharks, so they are there,” says Ms Rush. “You can potentially avoid swimming around fishermen and avoid seal colonies. I know in Australia the risks are higher in those places but nobody would've even known the risks cause it never happened at Muriwai, so it was unexpected.”
She knows the Muriwai community after growing up there, but never met Adam Strange.
“We have quite a few mutual friends in common, so that made it feel even more close to home really. My heart goes out to his family and his friends.”
Yesterday's attack reminds Ms Rush how lucky she was to survive.
“I'd like to think I have a healthy fear of sharks like anyone else, but I wouldn't let it keep me out of the water. I just avoid those places that could be dangerous.”
And that was advice that was heeded today - despite re-opening, Auckland's other west coast beaches remained deserted.
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