The swimmer who was mauled to death in a great white shark attack in Sydney on Wednesday has been identified as a 35-year-old British expat, who was an ocean enthusiast. Simon Nellist, was attacked from below by the creature while she was swimming in Sydney's first fatal great white shark attack in 60 years.
Nellist was attacked by the shark at Buchan Point, Malabar about 10 miles (16 kms) south of the city. It's believed that Nellist, who life savers said sustained "catastrophic" injuries in the attack, swam there every day. His remains were found in the water an hour later.
Nellist, from Wolli Creek, was a certified diving instructor and had just gone to the sea around 4:30 pm on Wednesday when he was fatally attacked by a great white shark. He was training for a charity ocean swim this weekend, which has since been cancelled.
In a statement, the organizing committee said: "The organising 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 cancelling the 2022 swim is appropriate."
Nellist was a seasoned ocean swimmer, according to friends, who said he "loved the water." According to reports, he is understood to have family in the UK and a partner in Sydney whom he was about to marry.
According to his friends, Nellist loved swimming, a fact attested by the photographs on his social media page. He worked as a dive instructor at the Scuba Diving Social Club in south Sydney. Following the incident, authorities discovered human remains in the sea at Little Bay.
Search on for the Shark
On Thursday, surf life savers searched for other remains, as well as the shark, which is estimated to be between 4 and 5 meters long. Nellist's death is reportedly Sydney's first fatal shark attack since 1963 at Sugarloaf Bay in Middle Harbour.
Since his tragic death tributes have been pouring in from friends and other swimmers. "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 make this earth lighter," friend Della Ross told Seven News.
Interestingly, Nellist knew about the potential dangers every time he did the swim between Little Bay Beach and Malabar. According to reports, Nellist did the swim almost every day. "Shark net and drum lines protect no one and kill all kinds of marine life each year," he posted on Facebook six months ago.
Nellist used to dive at a scuba center in Kogarah, which was shocked by the drowning of Ross' son Dmitriy four years ago while freediving in Brighton Le Sands after becoming entangled in shark nets.
On Thursday, Randwick mayor Dylan Parker said that the neighborhood was devastated and that residents were hesitant to return to the open sea. "Undeniably this has shaken the community to the core. And people all across the area will be looking the little bit differently," he said.
"There is always risk in open water, but the main message which we have for our community is that shark attacks, even though this is tragic, are exceptionally rare."
More than a dozen beaches between Bondi and Cronulla were closed on Thursday but will reopen on Friday after no further shark sightings.