Simon Nellist Sydney shark attack victim id as British dive instructor who was set to marry love of his life. The other love of his life, the ocean, claimed his life.
The individual killed in a shark attack off an iconic Sydney, Australia coastline has been identified as a British diving instructor who was training for a charity swim – and set to marry the ‘girl of his dreams.’
Simon Nellist, 35, was mauled to death Wednesday in the caught-on-video attack by the 15-foot-long predator at Buchan Point in Malabar, in south-east Sydney, according to local reports.
The 6-foot-5 ocean lover — a former member of the Royal Air Force — was swimming at Little Bay Beach when he was attacked just 500 feet from the coast, The Sun reported.
Along with great love, fiance, Jenny Ho, the other great love in Simon’s life was the ocean – which perhaps not ironically dramatically cut his life short.
‘Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean,’ the victim’s friend Della Ross told 7NEWS. ‘The news hit us like a truck because he was one of the people who make this Earth lighter.’
Victim had two loves- his fiance and the ocean
The expat at the time of the attack had been living in Sydney’s inner south of Wolli Creek with Jenny, with the couple planning to tie the knot last year only for their wedding to be put off because of the ongoing pandemic.
‘It’s just horrendous. We spent most of yesterday just hoping and praying it wasn’t him. It’s still incredibly raw,’ the close friend told 7News.
‘Simon was amazing. That’s all there is to say really. He was just the best,’ the bereaved friend added. ‘He was the nicest, kindest human. It is a huge loss.’
Nellist spent two years in the RAF and then traveled around the world for six years before he ‘fell in love’ with Australia, the friend said.
‘He was massively into wildlife and knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn’t daft. It’s just a freak accident,’ the pal said. ‘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.’
Nellist was training for a weekend charity event, the Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim, according to 9NEWS. The event has been canceled due to the tragedy.
‘The organising committee extends our thoughts and prayers to the family of the swimmer who was so tragically taken yesterday,’ organizers told the outlet in a statement.
Sydney shark attack pic.twitter.com/KnfQJl7Gy9
— Shtibby (@NinjaPenguinPDZ) February 17, 2022
‘F— man! I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body…’
Video footage from a fisherman by the rocks caught the unfolding macabre scene as Nellist was heard screaming of the impending shark attack before a volley of red is seen in the surf as the predator thrashed its victim, dislodging his body in two.
‘Someone just got eaten by a shark! Oh man! Oh no! That’s insane! That’s a great white shark,’ the fisherman is heard shouting.
‘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,’ he says.
‘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 adds.
The shark attack was the first fatal incident in Sydney since 1963.
The Department of Primary Industries is still searching for the shark and authorities are looking for additional human remains.
‘At this stage, no shark has been sighted,’ Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter General Manager Shane Daw told local media
‘All agencies are doing their best to see if they can find this person to bring some closure to their family,’ Daw added.