A massive great white shark attacked and killed a diver swimming just 500 feet offshore in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday, and the horrifying incident was caught on camera. The attack marks the city’s first fatal shark attack since 1963.
“Someone just got eaten by a shark,” yelled a man standing on the shore as he filmed the shocking attack. “Big great white, that’s a great white. Oh man. Oh no. Oh no. That’s insane! The person’s still there!”
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A witness who was fishing off the rocks when the shark attack occurred said that he saw a man wearing a wetsuit being dragged underwater by the great white.
“When he went down there were so many splashes,” the man recalled, according to CBS News. “It was terrible. I am shaking.”
“I keep vomiting. It’s very, very upsetting,” he continued. “He just went down for a swim, enjoying the day, but that shark took his life.”
The witness said he believed the shark was about 15 feet long.
More footage of the attack showed the victim’s body floating in the water.
[WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT.]
Another witness, Kris Linto, said, “Some guy was swimming and a shark came and attacked him vertically. We heard a yell and turned around it looked like a car had landed in the water, a big splash then the shark was chomping at the body and there was blood everywhere.”
Reuters reported that emergency services arrived on the scene after receiving a report of the attack around 4:35 p.m.
“Officers attached to Eastern Beaches Police Area Command, with assistance from the Marine Area Command and Surf Life Saving NSW, attended and located human remains in the water,” NSW Police said.
The victim was later identified as 35-year-old Simon Nellist, an experienced diving instructor who was training for a charity swim, according to The New York Post.
“Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean,” Nellist’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.”
Nellist was also engaged to the “girl of his dreams,” friends said. The couple had delayed their wedding due to government-imposed pandemic restrictions.
“It’s just horrendous. We spent most of yesterday just hoping and praying it wasn’t him. It’s still incredibly raw,” another friend added. “Simon was amazing. That’s all there is to say really. He was just the best. He was the nicest, kindest human. It is a huge loss.”
The attack occurred amid very choppy waves, and one local said it’s extremely dangerous to dive in the area.
“A few crazy surfers still go out and take the risk but most of us take notice and just stay out of the water until the sharks have gone. It’s a lot more dangerous driving, to be quite honest,” local resident Karen Romalis told Reuters.