Sydney shark attack victim named as British diving instructor mauled to death on beach

Simon Nellist, 35, suffered “catastrophic injuries” after being attacked by the great white shark at Buchan Point, off the coast of Sydney, Australia, while he was swimming

The victim has been named as Simon Nellist

The victim of a deadly great white shark attack off an Australian beach has been named as a British diving instructor who ‘loved’ the ocean.

Simon Nellist, 35, had been training for the Malabar ocean swim this weekend when he was attacked, Australian media reports.

Beachgoers watched on helplessly as the predator mauled the victim to death.

The attack at Buchan Point, off Sydney, on Wednesday left one bystander ‘vomiting’ in fear.

The victim died instantly from the “catastrophic injuries”, police and ambulance services said.

It is the first fatal shark attack in the Australian city in six decades.

Mr Nellist suffered “catastrophic” injuries in the attack

“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 had been practicing for an ocean swimming event planned for this weekend.

The event has now been canceled out of respect to the victim.

Eye witnesses 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 meter 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.”

Mr Nellist is thinking to have a girlfriend and family in the UK, according to local media in Sydney.

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 in 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.”

Lawrence Chlebeck, of Humane Society International, told MailOnline the ferocious attack was incredibly rare.

He suggested that the shark had probably mistaken Mr Nellist “for a seal” because of his wetsuit.

Local media reported that the last human life claimed by a shark in Sydney waters was in 1963.

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