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In Australia, diving instructor killed in shark attack

A diving instructor has died in Australia following a shark attack. It was the first fatal accident of its kind in Sydney in nearly 60 years. The fatal accident happened on Wednesday, February 16, about 150m from Little Bay beach in Sydney’s south-east. Simon Nellist, 35, was in the water and floating on the surface,
Published: February 20, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 00:07
In Australia, diving instructor killed in shark attack

A diving instructor has died in Australia following a shark attack. It was the first fatal accident of its kind in Sydney in nearly 60 years.

The fatal accident happened on Wednesday, February 16, about 150m from Little Bay beach in Sydney’s south-east. Simon Nellist, 35, was in the water and floating on the surface, something he did almost every day. The British man worked as a diving instructor but was not diving at the time of the attack.

The shark that attacked the man is believed by experts to be a great white shark measuring at least 3 metres in length. According to information provided by witnesses to the incident, the shark made a vertical attack from deep in the water. The 35-year-old man died as a result of his massive injuries.

Rescuers conducted a search using drones, a helicopter and water scooters. The mutilated remains of Simon Nellist and parts of his wetsuit were recovered from the water by rescue services about two hours after the incident. All beaches east and south of Sydney were closed until Friday.

Around 20 shark attacks occur in Australia each year. However, most of these incidents are recorded in New South Wales and on the west coast of Australia. Last year, two incidents resulted in the death of the attacked victim. In contrast, the year before, as many as 7 people died as a result of a shark attack.

Experts have reported that although it is winter in Australia, the sea temperature is quite high. This causes a situation where there are creatures in the water that attract sharks. These could lure the predator closer to the shoreline. Commonly, almost all shark attacks on humans are considered to be cases of mistaken identity. Under certain conditions, humans and the way they move can mimic the behaviour of creatures that the shark is hunting, such as seals.

Shark attacks around Sydney are rare as the city has long had safety nets and other deterrents in place.

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About author

Julia
My love for scuba diving started as a 12-year-old in the Canary Islands, at which time I took my first Open Water Diver course. This love for the blue turned into a huge passion that accompanies me to this day. Although blue is hard to come by in the Baltic, no conditions are terrible for me. In this sport, I find peace, patience, courage, focus, and balance. I have recently started to engage in underwater modeling and I am fulfilled with this.
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