British diving instructor killed in shark attack near Sydney

Friends said 35-year-old Simon Nellist 'loved the water' and was an experienced diving instructor.

British man Simon Nellist killed in shark attack while swimming in Sydney iStock

A swimmer killed in a shark attack in Australia has been named locally as a British man.

Friends said 35-year-old Simon Nellist “loved the water” and was an experienced diving instructor.

It is believed Mr Nellist was a British expatriate living in the Wolli Creek area of Sydney, and was engaged to be married.

New South Wales Police told the PA news agency the search for his remains would continue at sunrise on Friday.

Emergency services were called to Little Bay at around 4.35pm local time on Wednesday after reports a swimmer had been attacked by a shark.

Della Ross, the victim’s friend, was among those paying tribute.

She told broadcaster 7News: “Everything that is connected to Simon, to me is connected to the ocean.

“The news hit us like a truck because he is really one of the people that makes this earth better.”

Witness Kris Linto said the swimmer was in the water when the shark “came and attacked him vertically”.

He told Nine News TV: “We heard a yell and then turned around, it looked like a car just landed in the water, big splash.”

Lucky Phrachnanh, from New South Wales state ambulance, said the victim “suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of the attack”, adding there was nothing paramedics could do when they arrived at the scene.

The incident is believed to be the first fatal shark attack in Sydney since 1963.

The search also continues for the animal responsible, which biologists believe to be a white shark at least three meters (9.8ft) long.

A spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said: “Based on footage provided by the public including eyewitness accounts, DPI shark biologists believe that a white shark, at least three metres in length, was likely responsible.

“DPI will continue to work with NSW police and Surf Life Saving NSW to monitor the area and provide technical advice and resources as required.”

It is believed Mr Nellist was training for the 5k Malabar Ocean Swim due to take place this weekend when he was killed.

The event has been cancelled out of respect, organisers said.

An event statement read: “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.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code