US News New Zealand's 'first bloke' fends off shark

14:45  17 may  2018
14:45  17 may  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Clarke Gayford's annotated picture. Pic: Twitter/@NZClarke © Other Clarke Gayford's annotated picture. Pic: Twitter/@NZClarke

New Zealand's "first bloke" has tweeted a picture of himself fending off a large, "agitated" shark.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford, who presents a TV fishing show, had been helping a cameraman shoot footage for a programme titled Young Ocean Explorers when some bronze whaler sharks approached.

He was acting as "swimming safety", or keeping watch, to allow the cameraman to film bottle-nosed dolphins and false killer whales off Great Barrier Island near Auckland.

The dolphins were "feeding on kingfish and had been tearing some large ones in half and putting blood in the water, which attracted several large bronze whaler sharks", Mr Gayford said.

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A Victorian surfer says he is lucky he was wearing a really thick wetsuit after a shark attacked him numerous times near Lorne, on the state' s south coast, leaving large bite marks in his board.

A New Zealand TV presenter felt his kayak shaking violently near Takapuna beach and looked down to see the almost two-metre long body of a shark attacking it. "It' s the first time I've seen a shark while paddling so there is a pretty good chance I won't see another in my lifetime." - Stuff.

"I got in the water and they turned their attention on me," he added.

"I had to fend the large one pictured off with a pole several times, as it was getting quite agitated.

"We got out not long after."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern poses with her partner Clarke Gayford on February 4, 2018 in Waitangi, New Zealand. © Getty Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern poses with her partner Clarke Gayford on February 4, 2018 in Waitangi, New Zealand.

He later tweeted an annotated picture showing a dolphin nearby, saying: "So it turns out that not only do Dolphins not help, they actually quite like watching.

"A childhood myth is ruined."

Encounters with sharks are not new for Mr Gayford. In March, he tweeted another picture of himself with an "overly amorous whale shark" which "pinned" him "against a boat".

He and Ms Ardern are expecting a baby on 17 June, after which Mr Gayford will swap his fishy adventures for the role of stay-at-home dad.

Ms Ardern is expected to take six weeks of maternity leave before returning to New Zealand's top job.

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