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Victim Of Fatal Australia Shark Attack Identified As British Expat

Jake Massey

Published 
| Last updated 

Victim Of Fatal Australia Shark Attack Identified As British Expat

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

The victim of a fatal great white shark attack in Australia has been identified.

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Simon Nellist was mauled by the shark off Little Bay in east Sydney yesterday (Wednesday 16 February) in what was the first fatal attack in the city in 59 years.

Most beaches were subsequently shut and surf lifesavers on jet skis patrolled a 25km (15.5 mile) stretch of water between Bondi and Cronulla, with helicopters and drones searching from above.

In the hours after the attack, body parts were retrieved from the water, and search teams dropped green dye in the ocean in order to determine which way the currents were moving, in a bid to find more remains.

Based on footage supplied by a member of the public, government experts have estimated the shark to be a great white at least three metres (10 feet) in length.

Nellist, 35, has been identified as the victim. Credit: Facebook
Nellist, 35, has been identified as the victim. Credit: Facebook

Nellist was a 35-year-old diving instructor who is understood to be a British expat who was about to marry in Sydney.

His friend Della Ross said he made the world a better place.

She told 7 News: "Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean.

"The news hit us like a truck because he was one of the people who makes this Earth better."

Numerous eyewitnesses have detailed the horrific attack.

One man was fishing on the rocks when he saw the man pass in front of him in a wetsuit before being dragged under.

He told ABC: "He was yelling at first, and then when he went down there were so many splashes. The shark won't stop.

"It was terrible. I am shaking. I keep vomiting. It's very, very upsetting.

"He just went down for a swim, enjoying the day, but that shark took his life."

Simon was an avid swimmer and lover of the ocean. Credit: Facebook
Simon was an avid swimmer and lover of the ocean. Credit: Facebook

Fisherman Kris Linto told Nine News he saw a great white shark of about 4.5 metres in length attack the swimmer.

"The shark came and attacked them vertically," he said.

"We heard a yell and then turned around. [The splash] looked like a car just landed in the water."

Maroubra MP Michael Daley said the victim swam at the beach every day and he thanked surf life savers - who were among the first on the scene - for their bravery in the wake of the 'heartbreaking' attack.

"They are supposed to be saving people's lives, not pulling body parts from the water," he told ABC.

"But they are on duty. Always there to keep us safe and we are very grateful for that."

The last fatal shark attack in Sydney was in 1963 at Sugarloaf Bay in Middle Harbour, while a non-fatal shark attack took place at Congwong Beach in Botany Bay in February 2018.

Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker said: "The coast is our community's backyard.

"Little Bay is normally such a calm, beautiful place, enjoyed by families.

"To lose someone to a shark like this is chilling. We are all in shock."

Topics: World News, Australia, Animals

Jake Massey
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