Disasters & Accidents

Sydney authorities search for shark that killed swimmer

Sydney, Australia, Feb 17 (EFE).- Australian authorities scoured coastlines Thursday for a shark that killed a man in Sydney’s first fatal attack in almost 60 years.

More than a dozen beaches from the iconic Bondi to Cronulla in the south of the city were closed, New South Wales Police said on Thursday, adding that people should not “attempt to access the water.”

The authorities activated a search and capture operation along some 25 kilometers of coast by sea and air with helicopters and drones, and installed six smart drumlines.

NSW Fisheries Minister Dugald Saunders, who described Wednesday’s fatal attack as a “devastating incident,” said catching the shark could be difficult.

“It is a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, but we’ve seen that the sharks travel vast distances,” Saunders told Sky News on Thursday.

The shark, suspected to be a great white between 3-5 meters long, attacked a man who was swimming in Little Bay at about 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon.

He was named in local media on Thursday as 35-year-old dive instructor Simon Nellist from Wolli Creek.

On Wednesday afternoon, the authorities recovered some of his remains, with the search continuing Thursday.

The last fatality of this kind in Sydney was on Jan. 28, 1963 when actress Marcia Hathaway died as a result of a bull shark attack in Sugarloaf Bay.

Last year there were 18 shark attacks in Australia, of which three were fatal, while in 2020 there were 26 attacks, with eight deaths.

Shark attack fatalities in Australia are not common, with a mortality rate of 0.9 – less than one person per year, according to the Australian Shark-Incident Database of Taronga Conservation Society Australia cited by SBS. EFE


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