Simon Nellist, 35, originally from Cornwall, was killed by a Great White Shark in Sydney yesterday just months after he posted on Facebook in protest of shark nets
A man who was mauled by a Great White Shark in Sydney yesterday wrote a Facebook protesting against shark net months before his tragic death.
Brit diver Simon Nellist originally from Penzance in Cornwall was close to marrying the love of his life and had built a life for himself in Australia after starting his travels there six years ago.
Yesterday when the 35-year-old was practicing for his charity swim at Buchan Point near Little Bay, the former RAF worker was attacked by a four-metre-long shark and mauled to death.
But just months before this attack, he had taken to Facebook to raise awareness of how shark nets are killing marine life.
He wrote: “Shark nets and drumlines protect no one and kill all kinds of marine life each year. They need to go so these things don’t happen.”
Simon, who taught scuba diving at a Sydney school, has been remembered by friends and family as someone who loved the ocean and was adored by everyone.
He was due to marry his girlfriend, Jessie Ho, after their wedding had been canceled due to Covid.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has put in place six drumlines temporarily between Little Bay and Malabar as a shark incident response plan.
It was an issue Simon was very passionate about.
He knew the dangers involved with swimming between the two places and yet still hated the shark nets and the destruction they can cause.
Since yesterday’s fatal attack, it has been revealed by authorities that Little Bay Beach was to get SMART drumline technology in two weeks’ time as part of a new shark management program.
It works to give more protection to swimmers by alerting authorities to the presence of sharks.
Loved ones have flooded in with tributes to the man who was adored by everyone and who loved the ocean.
Beachgoers were said to have watched on helplessly as the shark mauled the victim to death, leaving one bystander “vomiting” in fear.
The victim died instantly from the “catastrophic injuries”, police and ambulance services said.
“Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean,” friend Della Ross told 7NEWS.
“The news hit us like a truck because he was one of the people who make this earth lighter.”
Mr Nellist, who is reported to have a fiancee and family back home in the UK was soon to be married, according to the Australian media outlet.
He had been practicing for an ocean swimming event planned for this weekend – but it has now been canceled out of respect to the victim.
Eyewitnesses who watched on in horror claimed they had seen the shark “swallow parts of his body” and yelled across the beach “someone has just been eaten”.
In a shocking video taken as the attack happened, people can be heard reacting as the tragedy unfolded before them.
One fisherman is heard shouting: “Someone just got eaten by a shark. Oh man! Oh no! That’s insane. That’s a great white shark.
“I just saw a four to five-metre great white explode on the surface right here on a swimmer and it was like a car landing in the water.
“F*** man, I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body and the body was in half here just off the rocks.
“It came back and swallowed parts of his body and that was it.”
He was one of 2,000 people who had signed up for the charity swim fundraiser, Malabar Magic Ocean Swim, which was due to be held on Sunday, February 20.
Now organizers have canceled the event after Mr Nellist’s remains were recovered from the water on Thursday.
Event Director Robert Lloyd said: “The organizing committee extends our thoughts and prayers to the family of the swimmer who was so tragically taken yesterday.
“Out of respect for the swimmer and his family, and following wide consultation with Randwick Council and experienced senior Surf Life Saving personnel, we believe that canceling the 2022 swim is appropriate.”
Patrols continue along the beach and SMART drumlines (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) have been installed on beaches across the city.
Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said the Department of Primary Industries would work with the other authorities to determine if the killer shark – or any others – remained in the vicinity.
“The fisheries guys have already been out to the location of yesterday’s really unfortunate and just gut-wrenching attack to put smart drumlines in and they will be monitored throughout the day,” he told 2GB.
“Smart drumlines have really proven to be extremely successful and also tagging sharks to know exactly where they are and using our smart shark app, along with … monitoring with drones.”