Family release moving tribute to 'gentle, kind and wonderful' British man killed by shark

19 February 2022, 15:11

Simon, a British husband-to-be and charity swimmer, was killed by a shark in Sydney on Wednesday
Simon, a British husband-to-be and charity swimmer, was killed by a shark in Sydney on Wednesday. Picture: Facebook

By Daisy Stephens

The family of Simon Nellist have paid tribute to a "gentle, kind and wonderful" man after he was mauled to death by a shark off the coast of Sydney on Wednesday.

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In the tribute, they said he "always had time for people" and that they would "miss him terribly".

"Simon was a gentle, kind and wonderful human being," they said.

"He was a cherished fiancée, son, brother, uncle and friend."

They added: "Simon was funny, compassionate and always had time for people.

"He had a rare gift of instantly being able to connect with others, gaining their trust and respect."

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Mr Nellist, 35, was killed in the first fatal shark attack in Sydney for 60 years.

While he lived in Australia with his fiancée Jessie, he was originally from the west Cornwall village of Ludgvan.

His family said he was a "proud Cornishman" but had made Australia his home.

"Simon had a great passion for nature and the sea, as well as being a very talented photographer," they said.

The attack took place at Little Bay in Sydney
The attack took place at Little Bay in Sydney. Picture: Alamy

Emergency services were called to Little Bay 4.35pm on Wednesday following reports a swimmer had been attacked by a shark, believed to be a great white.

They scoured the nearby sea and "located human remains in the water".

The victim was later named as Mr Nellist.

His friend Della Ross told 7News shortly after the attack that Mr Nellist was "one of the people who make this earth lighter".

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Another friend told The Sun he was "amazing".

"Simon was amazing," they said.

"That’s all there is to say really.

"He was just the best.

"He was the nicest, kindest human.

"It is a huge loss."

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