Randwick City Council / YouTube
Shocking footage of a man getting eaten alive by a 15ft great white shark hit the internet like a storm on Wednesday evening. The swimmer was apparently training for an ocean swim event when the great white mistook him for a helpless seal and attacked.
The incident reportedly took place 400 feet offshore of Buchan Point near Little Bay Beach in Sydney, Australia, and was the first fatal shark attack in the area in almost 60 years (since 1963).
The main beach was packed with dozens of swimmers, paddleboarders, and rock fishermen who witnessed the tragic event. Onlookers helplessly watched and screamed as the water turned blood red and the shark continued to thrash around in the water and “swallow parts of his body.”
The onlooker recording the video of the incident can be heard in the video saying, “Someone just got eaten by a shark. That’s a great white shark. Oh man! Oh no! That’s insane. The person’s still there!”
The fishermen told Daily Mail, “I just saw a four to five metre great white explode on the surface just here on a swimmer and it was like a car landing in the water. F*** man, I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body and the body was in half just off the rocks here. It came back and swallowed parts of his body and that was it. It disappeared.”
Within minutes the alarm was raised, rescue helicopters and lifesavers on jet skis were sent out in search of the swimmer and shark and the beaches were ordered closed for the day.
“Some guy was swimming and a shark came and attacked him vertically,” the fisherman added. “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. It was really bad.”
Another shaken witness said, “He was yelling at first, and then when he went down there were so many splashes. The shark wouldn’t stop. It’s very, very upsetting.”
Four ambulance road crews and a rescue helicopter with a critical care doctor and a critical care paramedic on board all showed up to the beach in hopes of saving him.
“Unfortunately this person had suffered catastrophic injuries and there wasn’t a lot paramedics could do when we arrived,” NSW Ambulance Inspector Lucky Phrachanh said.
The remains of the swimmer were found in the water an hour after the attack. Police said they reviewed the footage to try to get a full understanding of the situation.
“Footage clearly shows a body, half a body being taken by a shark,” a police officer said. “They have found some remains.”
The remains were later identified to be 35-year-old Simon Nellist who was training for a charity ocean swim event this weekend. Since the attack, the event has been canceled and all beaches have been closed for the next 24 hours.
Simon’s family were very shocked to hear the news, especially his soon-to-be wife that he was planning on marrying. Simon was described by those who knew him as a man who loved adventure and was adored by everyone around him.
“The coast is our community’s backyard. Little Bay is normally such a calm, beautiful place enjoyed by families,” Randwick mayor Dylan Parker told Daily Mail. “To lose someone to an shark attack like this is chilling. We are all in shock. Our entire area’s hearts go out to the family.”
According to local officials, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will be investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
“DPI extends sincere condolences to the family and friends and first responders at this tragic time,” a spokeswoman said. “DPI will continue to work with NSW Police and SLS NSW to monitor the area and provide any technical advice and resources if required, including deploying SMART drumlines in the area.”