A 35-year-old British man by the name of Simon Nellist, died Wednesday after being attacked by a Great White shark in Sydney, Australia.
According to a friend of the victim, Nellist, who is a professional diving instructor has not been formally identified. Several eye-witnesses who witnessed the scene described it as a vicious and frenzied attack.
“[The person] was swimming and a shark came and attacked [them] vertically,” Kris Linto told Nine News.
“We heard a yell and turned around, it looked like a car had landed in the water, a big splash then the shark,” Said one person.
Another man recounted that he had been fishing on the rocks when he saw the swimmer get dragged under.
“It was terrible. I am shaking. I keep vomiting. It’s very, very upsetting,” he said in a news interview.
The MP for the area Micheal Daley expressed his condolences, adding that locals were horrified by the incident.
“[He] came here and swam nearly every day,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful day at one of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches, but there’s a real dark pall hanging over our community today.”
Authorities managed to retrieve body parts from the water two hours after the attack.
A UK foreign office spokesperson confirmed that consular staff were in touch with New South Wales Police. “We are supporting the family of a British man and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, all beaches were closed on Thursday as authorities attempt to find the shark.