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Swimmer mauled to death by great white shark in Sydney identified as British expat

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he swimmer mauled to death by a great white shark in Sydney has been identified as a British expat.

Simon Nellist, 35, was attacked by a four-metre-long predator at Buchan Point, near Little Bay, in the east of the city on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Nellist is believed to have grown up in the UK and was engaged to an Australian woman.

He worked as a dive instructor and was training for a charity ocean swim when he was killed.

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Witnesses said the shark “attacked vertically” before dragging Mr Nellist’s body out to sea.

Remains were found in the water around an hour later.

Shark attacks in Sydney are uncommon as the city’s waters are protected by shark nets and the beaches are patrolled by drones.

Mr Nellist is the first person have died from a shark attack in 59 years.

Della Ross, a friend of Mr Nellist, said the news of his death had hit them like “ a truck”.

“Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean,” friend Della Ross told 7NEWS.

“The news hit us like a truck because he was one of the people who make this earth lighter.”

Fishermen in the area were slammed online for posting a video describing the attack as well as using bait which could have lured the shark closer to the coastline.

In one video a fisherman describes the attack, saying: “Someone just got eaten by a shark. Oh man! Oh no! That’s insane. That’s a great white shark.

“The person’s still there!

“I just saw a four to five metre great white explode on the surface just here on a swimmer and it was like a car landing in the water.

“F*** man, I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body and the body was in half just off the rocks here.

“It came back and swallowed parts of his body and that was it. It disappeared.”

Another fisherman heard Mr Nellist scream as the shark jumped out of the water to attack but insisted: “We couldn’t do anything about it.”

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