Content Warning: This Article Discusses Death

The UK family of Simon Nellist has made a public statement in regards to the death of their son. 35-year-old Nellist was a diving instructor who tragically died in Sydney’s first fatal shark attack in 60 years on Wednesday.

The family has described Simon as a “wonderful human being” as per the BBC.

They went on to speak about Simon’s sense of humour and his capacity to connect with those around him.

“Simon was a gentle, kind and wonderful human being. He was a cherished fiancée, son, brother, uncle and friend,” they said.

“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.”

Finally, they spoke of Simon’s love of the great outdoors and being in nature.

“Simon had a great passion for nature and the sea, as well as being a very talented photographer,” they said. They also stated that they would “miss him terribly”.

The family also made mention of Simon’s fiancee Jessie, with whom he had moved to Australia to create a home as per 7News.

When the attack occurred Simon had been training for a charity ocean swim called the Malabar Magic Ocean Swim as per the Daily Telegraph.

The event has since been cancelled however the organising committee has announced in a statement that the funds raised will still be distributed.

“Out of respect for Simon and his family, and following wide consultation with Randwick Council and experienced, senior Surf Life Saving personnel, we believe that cancelling the 2022 swim is appropriate,” the committee said.

“Through generous donations, fundraising and entry fees our swimming community and corporate supporters have already raised over $128,000 for Rainbow Club. These funds will enable Rainbow Club to open 10 new swimming clubs in the coming year to meet the growing demand for our service.”

Earlier in the week, Simon’s friends described him as the “nicest human”.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Simon’s family during this incredibly tough time.


If you need mental health support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
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If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.