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New Zealand PM's partner fights off shark with a pole while diving

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 17/05/2018 Matt Watts

© Provided by Independent Print Limited The partner of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed today how he fought off an angry shark with a pole while diving off Auckland.

Clarke Gayford, the partner of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, tweeted a picture of himself keeping the predator at bay while a dolphin swims in the background.

However, instead of launching a Flipper-style rescue to chase off the shark, Gayford said the dolphin was content to watch the underwater drama unfold from a distance.

He said it contrasted previous reports dolphins have saved humans from impending shark attack.

“So it turns out that not only do dolphins not help, they actually quite like watching,” he tweeted. “A childhood myth is ruined.”

The partner of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed today how he fought off an angry shark with a pole while diving off Auckland. © RICK RYCROFT/AFP/Getty Images The partner of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed today how he fought off an angry shark with a pole while diving off Auckland. Gayford, who hosts a television fishing show, said he was helping a camera operator shoot footage for the educational show Young Ocean Explorers when the incident occurred.

He said he was “swimming safety”, or keeping watch so the cameraman could concentrate on filming bottle-nosed dolphins and false killer whales off Great Barrier Island near Auckland.

“They 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,” Gayford said.

“I got in the water and they turned their attention on me, I had to fend the large one pictured off with a pole several times, as it was getting quite agitated.”

Gayford will soon swap his deep-sea adventures for the role of stay-at-home dad when Ardern gives birth to the couple’s first child, due next month.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

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