A few days ago, a Te Awamutu, New Zealand-based surfer took his son and his surfing buddy of 25 years out to an isolated break off the Taharoa coast on the South Island. Little did he know that doing so would result in them getting shot at–like with a gun.
According to Stuff (the name of an actual media outlet in New Zealand), the three surfers jet-skied out to this notoriously secluded, and apparently localized, surf spot. While sitting out in the lineup around mid-morning, the trio heard a round of shots fired, which they assumed was someone firing at a goat or a pig in the nearby bush.
“The second one sounded a lot closer and the third one landed in the water adjacent to where they were,” said local police Sergeant Andy Connors, who spoke with the men afterward. “You’d be fearing the worst and petrified what’s going to happen in the next few minutes.”
The closest shot landed right next to the 14-year-old son of one of the men. They were able to see two men up on the nearby bank who were screaming expletives at the visitors, who quickly paddled back to the boat ramp where their jet skis were and called the police.
Authorities are still unable to prove whether or not the shots were intentionally fired at the visiting surfers, but many spots in the area are infamously localized, and apparently, this wasn’t even the first time something like this happened at the spot. According to Stuff, a fisherman was also allegedly shot at while angling in the area.
“Ever since I have known the place and the people that have cared for it, it’s generally been by invitation,” Raglan local Daniel Kereopa told Stuff. “It’s one of those places that is still New Zealand – not affected by tourists, not promoted. People live there because they are born for [sic] that land and, unfortunately, it’s brought some attention by what’s happened down there…. Some places should be kept secret and isolated.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Kawhia police on [+34] 07 871 0827.