On Wednesday, Sydney suffered its first deadly shark attack in 59 years.
Beaches were shut and authorities searched the coastline looking for the great white that mauled a male victim at around 4:30PM just off Little Bay in east Sydney.
Witnesses described seeing “a vicious and frenzied attack” with it looking “like a car had landed in the water, a big splash then the shark”.
Initially, the name of the male victim was not released but we now know it was British diving instructor Simon Nellist.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
The 35-year-old from Wolli Creek was a regular swimmer at Little Bay and has been remembered by friends as “one of the people who make this earth lighter”.
“Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean,” Mr Nellist’s friend Della Ross told Channel Seven on Thursday.
Nellist, a former British Royal Air Force (RAF) serviceman from Penzance in Cornwall, had been living in Wolli Creek in the city’s south.
He had originally come to Australia on holiday but fell in love with the country and moved down under soon thereafter.
He was engaged to an Australian woman, Jessie Ho (pictured above), with their wedding last year postponed due to COVID-19.
Nellist was rumoured to be training for the five-kilometre Malabar Magic Ocean Swim, due to take place this weekend, when he was killed.
The swim has now been cancelled.
A friend who spoke with NewsAU said he was an experienced swimmer:
“He was massively into wildlife and knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn’t daft. It’s just a freak accident.
“Simon was doing his diving and he would send us the most amazing videos of the wildlife out there. He was so respectful of the wildlife.
The search for the shark responsible for the attack continues.
Surf lifesavers have used drones and jet skis to check the immediate area and police and emergency crews are also involved.
Drum lines, used to bait sharks, have been set up in Little Bay close to where the attack occurred.
Beaches in the area reopened to the public today, including Little Bay, Malabar, Maroubra, Coogee, Clovelly, Bondi, and La Perouse beaches.
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