Family Of Man Killed In Tragic Shark Attack Say How He'd Want Shark To Be Treated

Emily Brown

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Family Of Man Killed In Tragic Shark Attack Say How He'd Want Shark To Be Treated

Featured Image Credit: 9 News/Simon Nellist/Facebook

The family of a diving instructor who lost his life in a shark attack this week have spoken out about how he would want authorities to respond.

Simon Nellist, 35, died in the attack at Little Bay Beach, near Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday, February 16. He had been training for a fundraiser when witnesses spotted the shark in the water, and sadly responders were unable to save Nellist by the time they found his body.

The British RAF veteran, who grew up in Cornwall and served two tours in Afghanistan, was due to marry his fiancée Jessie Ho this summer.

Nellist's aunt, Jacqui Seager, said Nellist 'loved' Australia, and that his parents and fiancée are 'totally in bits' at the loss of their loved one. She explained that his parents are now planning to travel to Australia as soon as they are able to sort out visas, MailOnline reports.

The incident on Wednesday marked the first fatal shark attack in the area since the 1960s and prompted authorities to close a number of beaches to prevent any further attacks. Drum lines were set up in the water, which use baited hooks to lure and capture large sharks, though there have been no more sightings in the area at the time of writing, February 18.

Nellist is said to have previously condemned the use of drum lines in Sydney, saying they 'protect no one' and 'need to go'.

Following his death, Seager has expressed belief that her nephew would not want the shark to be killed, saying: 'He loved nature. He swam with sharks before. This isn't the first time he's gone out and seen them but he would still go out swimming. That's brave. I don't think he ever thought they would hurt him. Sadly, this time it managed to get to him.'

She continued: 'It's absolutely horrendous. We are all in shock. He swam most days. This is just a freak accident. It shows you can't take life for granted.'

Nellist's mother is said to have been in disbelief that her son could 'return from the frontline unscathed to then go to Australia, go out for a swim and get killed'.

Seager said the 35-year-old 'always loved the sea' and was 'always very close to it', adding: 'He loved wildlife and the world. He had a real love affair with nature. He was a very kind and considerate man who just loved life. He was a strong guy and did two tours of Afghanistan.'

The Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim, which Nellist was set to take part in this weekend, has now been cancelled by organisers 'out of respect for the swimmer and his family'.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, Animals, Life, World News, Australia

Emily Brown
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