5. John Balmer 1832 - 1852
John Balmer was a member of the 65th regimental band. After a performance on Wellington Anniversary Day, he and his bandmates went for a swim in Lambton Harbour. After his friends got out, John made the decision to stay in the water.
A four-metre-long shark then attacked John, leaving him with fatal injuries. He died soon after on a boat that was only 20 metres away at the time of the attack. His body was taken to the nearby Thistle Inn.
John Balmer remains Wellington’s only shark attack victim.
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