Sydney shark attack victim was training for charity swim

The victim of a fatal shark attack in Sydney’s east has been identified as an ‘avid diver’ and regular swimmer.

The man was named by multiple outlets as Simon Nellist, 35, of Wolli Creek.

He died of catastrophic injuries after being attacked by what witnesses say was a four-and-a-half-metre great white shark in Little Bay in the east of the city on Wednesday.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet called it a “horrific tragedy” and said the government had expressed sympathy for the man’s family.

“It reminds us all of the fragility of life,” the prime minister said.

“May I also tell people across our state that we have closed a number of beaches on the advice of the Department of Primary Industries and the police, so please follow those instructions.”

Sydney’s eastern beaches remain closed as drones and jet skis patrol the waters to watch for sharks.

It was the first attack on a Sydney beach since 1963.

Matt Thistlethwaite, MP for Kingsford Smith, said “the incident has sent shockwaves through the community I represent”.

He said the bathing spot was “increasingly popular”.

A local sea swim race scheduled for Sunday was canceled “out of respect for the swimmer and his family”.

Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said Primary Industries would work with other authorities to determine if the shark – or others – remained nearby.

The department installed six SMART drumlines between Little Bay and Malabar as part of a shark incident response plan.

Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker told ABC News “there have been no shark sightings to date” Thursday afternoon.

“The smart battery lines have really proven to be extremely effective and also allow for tagging sharks to know exactly where they are and using our Smart Shark app, as well as…surveillance with drones.”

SMART battery lines are a new technology that can intercept target sharks beyond the surf break.

“We will continue to work very hard to make sure people feel safe on all of our beaches,” Mr Saunders said.

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