Swimmer stalked by two sharks in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty

This is the terrifying moment a swimmer flees for his life as two sharks snap at his heels.

The man was swimming in the water at Ōhope Beach, a popular spot in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, when he heard an onlooker scream that there were sharks next to him.

Another family filmed the dramatic scenes as the sharks cruised along the beach.

In the footage two fins can be seen jutting out of the water as waves crash onto the beach.

Phil Squire with his 15-year-old daughter Eliza when beachgoers started to say they had seen two sharks out in the water, behind where the man was swimming.

Mr Squire told local media outlet Stuff that he thought the sharks may have been bronze whalers.

“There were quite a few people gathering around when they realised a shark was there,” he said.

“People were shouting, ‘Shark, shark!’ Two fins appeared near the man and he got a huge fright and took off.”

The incident occurred in January but rumours of shark sightings along the coast were keeping a lot of people out of the water, despite it being a hot day, Mr Squire said.

“Information does travel up and down the beach and I guess one of the clues that there might be a problem was that there were a lot of people out of the water.

“It was a very hot day and I guess it was unexpected to have sharks that close.”

One of Mr Squire’s daughters had been surfing at the west end of Ōhope Beach during their holiday, and had passed over some stingrays, he said.

“She was a bit nervous, she was definitely staying on her board with the possibility of sharks and stingrays around … but I think it added to the excitement.

“We did a lot of surfing around those beaching but weren’t dipping our toes in, in case they got nibbled.”

Despite being a keen surfer himself, Mr Squire said he’d never encountered sharks.

He came forward with the video after reading news of recent shark sightings in Auckland.

Earlier this year, a shark attack at Waihī Beach, another popular beaching spot, took the life of a young woman.

Kaelah Marlow, 19, suffered bites to one of her legs when she was attacked while swimming in New Zealand. She was pulled alive from the sea but paramedics were unable to save her.

“I’m a surfer and you realise these areas are the sharks’ natural habitats and people visiting rightfully need to be careful,” Mr Squire said.

He urged other surfers and swimmers to be “be sensible” and exercise good water safety.

“Watch out for each other in the water,” he said.

“If you see something, let other folks know and exit the water safely.

“It is better to err on the side of caution, keep an eye out to spot anything unusual.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission

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Australian beer company cut ties with Myanmar after stage coup

Australia’s most iconic beers owned and distributed by the parent company of Lion, Kirin, have already cut ties with the Myanmar military. This was after the staged coup that occurred earlier this week.

The said company, Lion, is a wholly own subsidiary of Kirin Holdings, a Japanese company that has a joint-venture partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL), which is linked to Myanmar’s military.

Lion is famous for its thread of brands including Tooheys, XXXX, Little Creatures, Iron Jack, Hanh, James Squire, James Boag’s and Byron Bay on its website.
Just recently, the Amnesty International and human rights groups had long called for Kirin to cut ties with the military of Myanmar. This was on grounds of being accused with genocide and other war crimes against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

In line with the matter, on a released statement, Kirin Holdings said it was “deeply concerned by the recent actions of the military in Myanmar, which are against our standards and human rights policy”.

It reads, “Given the current circumstances, we have no option but to terminate our current joint-venture partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited, which provides the service of welfare fund management for the military. We will be taking steps as a matter of urgency to put this termination into effect.”

Meanwhile, Australian businessman Sir Rod Eddington who sits on both Lion and Kirin’s board, made no further comments with the matter. Justice for Myanmar, which has exposed the global business links to Myanmar’s military, also known as the Tatmadaw, congratulated the move.

According to spokesperson Yadanar Maung “Kirin’s bold and timely move to cut ties sends a strong message to the Myanmar military that their illegitimate and brutal coup and continued genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will not be tolerated. We appreciate that Kirin has finally listened to the voices of the Myanmar people and made the right decision by cutting ties. We now call on Kirin to encourage other companies to follow suit.”

It was made known last Monday that the Tatmadaw, under Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, seized power in a dawn coup, the day Parliament was meant to resume. Consequently, de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her immensely popular National League for Democracy party were detained, and the military yesterday cut access to Facebook — synonymous with the internet in Myanmar.

Tim O’Connor, Amnesty International’s Australia campaigner said “We welcome that Kirin, who owns Australian and New Zealand brewing and beverage giant Lion, has finally bowed to pressure from activists and the public to divest from its MEHL joint venture with the Myanmar military. It’s only a shame it took a military coup d’etat for them to finally move on what was always a venture that delivered huge sums of money to [the] Myanmar military and their leaders who are accused of the gravest human rights violations.”

As of now, other foreign companies that has ties to the Tatmadaw are encouraged to follow should Kirin’s footsteps in an urgent and transparent manner.

Call to be made on quarantine-free NZ travel

Arrivals from New Zealand have been given hope as “tremendous” work across the Tasman could lift the travel suspension as early as Saturday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed the government will decide on Saturday whether to end a freeze on quarantine-free travel from New Zealand.

Arrivals from New Zealand were forced into 14 days quarantine on Monday after Wellington confirmed the highly contagious South African strain had skipped the country’s quarantine system.

The suspension was extended for another 72 hours on Thursday after NZ confirmed four community transmission cases of the strain over the two preceding days.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine: Scott Morrison says Australia won’t be hostage to overseas schedules

Anyone arriving from New Zealand before Monday will be required to undergo 14 days in quarantine under current arrangements.

But with zero cases confirmed on Friday, Health Minister Greg Hunt was optimistic travel would soon resume.

“They are doing a tremendous job in terms of widespread testing of staff relating to the hotel quarantine facility, guests, contacts and community,” he said on Friday.

“This provides a basis for them to be reconsidering the current travel pause for the green zone on a 24-hour basis.

“If there are continued excellent results out of New Zealand, which is commensurate with their entire performance over the course of the pandemic, then we hope to be in a position to resume that in the coming days.

“I think that should give hope to everybody who is looking at friends or family arriving from New Zealand.”

The South African variant, which is 50 per cent more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19, has caused alarm among Australian authorities.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was critical of the suspension on Tuesday, saying Wellington had the situation “well under control”.

A worker in an Auckland quarantine hotel has been sacked after a 20-minute bedroom encounter with a person undergoing their 14 days in isolation.

It comes as Germany recommended against administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 65 amid fears it would not be approved by the European Union regulator.

The UK’s regulator has approved the vaccine for over 65s and stood by its decision, while AstraZeneca denied its was ineffective for the elderly.

The AstraZeneca jab, which is yet to receive approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), makes up the bulk of Australia’s vaccine response.

Drug manufacturer CSL was set to produce 50 million doses in Melbourne, while 1.2 million additional doses were set to arrive from overseas.

Mr Hunt assured Australians the jab would only be administered in circumstances deemed safe by the TGA.

“The TGA makes full consideration of all data available to them,” he said.

“They very clearly have said that they will make the decision based on safety and effectiveness and that safety has and always will be the number one priority.”

But Mr Hunt is confident Australia is prepared for any ruling from the TGA, saying the government expects 140 million vaccine doses from various manufacturers.

It comes as Australia confirmed its 12th consecutive day with no community transmission cases and no Australians in intensive care units.

Mr Hunt described the milestone as a “testament” to the hard work done by medical professionals and the public in following health guidelines.

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NZ Prime Minister Hopes Trans-Tasman Bubble Won’t Be Shut For Long


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed that she does not believe Australia will be keeping its trans-Tasman border shut in the long run.

This goes amid health authorities conducting further coronavirus tests and contact-tracing measure after two more cases of South African COVID-19 variant were confirmed in Auckland.

It was already made known that Australia closed its border for 72 hours last Monday upon the news that New Zealand recorded its first case of COVID-19 in the community in two months, with expressed concerns that two new cases were reported yesterday. According to the health authorities, a will decision will be reached soon on whether to resume the travel bubble today.

The New Zealand Prime Minister has previously expressed disappointment with the shutting of the bubble and said that travellers and tourism providers had been disrupted by the decision. However, she says the decision on reopening the border will ultimately rest with Australia.

In a statement, she revealed “I do know that our officials and high commissioners have been staying in close contact. So as you’d expect, and we are providing information to our counterparts in Australia. The decision will ultimately be for them, I’ve never got the sense it would be a long-term position for them. They are ultimately just waiting for a bit more information.”

As per safety authorities, both the latest New Zealand cases were from returned travellers who have undergone hotel quarantine and were released after returning negative results following their 14 days isolation. They had stayed at the same New Zealand hotel at the same time as the first case of coronavirus in the country in over two months that was confirmed on Monday.

In line with the matter, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield cited they are being treated as confirmed cases out of caution, and added that genome-sequencing results and serology results would help develop the picture further.

Meanwhile, Ms Ardern emphasized everyone who visited the hotel in question had been tested. “We identified that there has been an event of some description that has affected guests from one contact, as in one person with a particular strain. That gives us a clue of what we need to look for.”

Thus, she explained authorities were keeping a keen eye about how the virus spread.

“Or we haven’t ruled out, while it is a low chance, aerosol transfer, so the air. We have looked at ventilation; we will look at the use of common areas and whether or not people have even passed each other. We analyze cameras, we look at swipe card access and we will do everything to try and identify what happened.” She said.

(Image source: NZ Herald)