Deadly victim of Sydney shark attack revealed as local scuba diving instructor

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A local scuba diving instructor has been revealed as the victim of the first fatal shark attack to hit Sydney’s shores in nearly 60 years.

A diver has been identified as the swimmer who was killed in the first fatal shark attack to hit Sydney’s shores in 60 years.

At around 4.30pm on Wednesday, emergency services were called to Little Bay in Sydney’s southeast with reports of a shark attack before police reported human remains floating in the water.

The victim is believed to be 35-year-old diver Simon Nellist of Wolli Creek, the The telegraph of the day reported.

Mr Nellist was swimming near some rocks when he was mauled by a great white shark believed to be 4.5 meters long.

The 35-year-old’s social media is reportedly filled with photos of him snorkeling with Little Bay, which is said to be one of his favorite swimming spots.

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The dive instructor had been training for Malabar’s Magic Ocean Swim, a fundraising event – held on the adjacent beach – which was canceled following the tragic incident.

“The organizing committee extends its thoughts and prayers to the family of the swimmer who was so tragically kidnapped yesterday,” read a statement from the fundraising event.

“Out of respect for the swimmer and their family, and after extensive consultation with Randwick Council and the experienced and senior staff at Surf Life Saving, we believe it is appropriate to cancel the 2022 swim.”

On Thursday evening, police called on the public for help in identifying the man as the investigation into the incident continues.

“The swimmer has not yet been officially identified, but is believed to be a 35-year-old male from Wolli Creek,” the statement read.

“Police are encouraging anyone who may have seen the man before or during the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is being treated as strictly confidential.”

On Wednesday, the NSW Ambulance Service said Mr Nellist had suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ in the attack, with paramedics unable to do anything when they arrived.

In the hours following the attack, shocking footage emerged with bystanders filming the incident from nearby rocks.

The video that was shared online showed the great white shark struggling in the water with seagulls circling overhead as the water turned deep red from blood.

“Somebody just got eaten by a shark. Big white, that’s a great white,” the man filming said.

“Oh man, oh no, oh no. This is crazy. The person is still there.”

At the time of the attack, there were fishermen on nearby rocks and dozens of people swimming and paddleboarding in the water.

A man fishing off the rocks at the time said he saw a large shark dragging a swimmer underwater.

“He was screaming at first, then when he came down there was so much splashing,” the fisherman said. ABC News reported.

“The shark won’t stop.

“It was terrible, I’m shaking. I can’t stop throwing up, it’s very upsetting.”

Another witness said 9 News they heard the victim scream as the shark attacked.

“A guy was swimming and a shark came and attacked him vertically,” Kris Linto said.

“We heard a scream and we turned around, it sounded like a car had landed in the water, a big splash and then the shark was biting the body and there was blood everywhere.

“It was really bad.”

On Thursday, the search for the remains and the shark continued with police, rescuers and the Department of Primary Industries using jet skis and drones, but no other sharks were seen in the area.

“While we have all assets on the water trying to locate the animal, we just want to make sure there is no other danger to swimmers in this area,” said Steven Pearce of Surf Life. Saving NSW, ABC News reported.

The Department of Primary Industries has temporarily installed six SMART drumlines between Little Bay and Malabar as part of a shark incident response plan.

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