British diving instructor named as victim of fatal Sydney shark attack
The attack near Little Bay was the first fatal shark attack in Sydney since 1963 (Photo: AFP/ Muhammad FAROOQ)
SYDNEY: A 35-year-old British diving instructor has been identified as the person killed in a shark attack off a Sydney beach, Australian media reported on Friday (Feb 18), as officials reopened several beaches after the city’s first fatal attack in 60 years.
Simon Nellist, who moved to Australia about six years ago, was killed on Wednesday off Little Bay beach, about 20 km (12 miles) south of Australia’s largest city while training for a weekend charity swim event, reports said, citing his friends.
Nellist, a former UK Royal Air Force serviceman, was a member of the city’s scuba diving club and a regular swimmer at the beach. Police have not yet formally identified the victim.
Authorities have set up drumlines, which are used to bait sharks, near the attack site, while drones and helicopters were searching to see if the shark was still in the area.
Local Randwick City mayor Dylan Parker said there had been no further sighting of sharks in the area and allowed several beaches to reopen after shutting them on Thursday, including the city’s iconic Bondi beach.
Shark attacks near Sydney’s beaches are rare due to the presence of specially designed “shark nets” that reduce the chance of a shark attack but do not create a total barrier between swimmers and sharks.
It was the first fatal shark attack in Sydney since 1963, data showed.