Australian authorities launched a search for a great white shark after a shark mauled a swimmer at a popular Sydney beach Buchan Point on Wednesday and vanished just moments later.
The victim was identified as Simon Nellist, 35, diving instructor and an ocean lover who spent much of his time in the sea training for the Malabar ocean swim this weekend.
According to reports, dozens of swimmers and fishermen, witnessed horrifying scenes as the swimmer spent his final moments screaming for help and trying to fight off the monster great white shark.
“It came back and swallowed parts of his body, and that was it. It disappeared,” a witness recounted.
Remains of the swimmer were later found, including half a wetsuit.
Meanwhile, organizers of the Magic Ocean Swim have decided to cancel it.
“The organizing committee extends our thoughts and prayers to the family of the swimmer who was so tragically taken yesterday,” organizers said.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said a great white shark was likely responsible for the death, which is Sydney’s first fatality in almost 60 years, and forced the closure of beaches from Sutherland Shire to Bondi.
“Based on footage provided by the public, including eyewitness accounts, DPI shark biologists believe that a white shark, at least 3 meters in length, was likely responsible,” the DPI said.
Following the attack, six SMART drumlines have been installed from Little Bay Beach to Long Bay as the search for the shark continues.
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