Simon Nellist shark attack evokes horrifying memories of fatal trio of attacks in 2021

Simon Nellist shark attack evokes horrifying memories of fatal trio  of attacks in 2021
From left, shark attack victims Mark Sanguinetti, Simon Nellist, and Paul Millachip (Sanguinetti family, Marca TV, WA Police)

The shocking death of Simon Nellist who became the victim of a shark attack in Sydney has brought back disturbing memories of a number of fatal shark attacks that took place last year.

The 35-year-old Nellist was attacked by a four-meter-long shark at Buchan Point, near Little Bay in Sydney's east while witnesses watched in horror on Wednesday, February 16. It has been said that the incident was the first of its kind in decades in Sydney. The Britisher's remains were found in the water after a search operation was launched Wednesday afternoon. Reports said he was an ocean lover and a dive instructor. His family was reportedly in the UK but his girlfriend was in Sydney and Nellist was about to get married to her.

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Following are three of the most prominent shark attacks that took place in Australia last year.

May 2021

On May 18, 2021, a shark claimed the life of a man on the NSW Mid-North Coast. Mark Sanguinetti, 59, from Bilgola Plateau, was identified as the victim killed by the 4.5 meter beast at Tuncurry beach.

Mark Sanguinetti (L) pictured with his daughter (Sanguinetti family)

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Authorities said Sanguinetti saw the shark before he was attacked and called out to try and warn others near him about the predator. His friends were able to bring him back to the shore following the attack, but he had already lost a considerable amount of blood and went into cardiac arrest. A retired paramedic who was one of the bystanders started CPR before a specialist medical team flew up in a helicopter from Sydney. However, Sanguinetti succumbed to the loss of blood. He was remembered by loved ones as a generous friend and father who loved the ocean.

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September 2021

A man, believed to be in his 20s, lost his life in September last year after being bitten by a shark at Shelly Beach on the NSW North Coast. Paramedics responded to the beach north of Coffs Harbour following reports of a shark attack. Four NSW Ambulance crews arrived at the scene before an ambulance spokesperson said a man in his 20s had sustained a "significant injury to his arm." 

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 The letters R.I.P on Shelly Beach in memory of a shark victim on February 10, 2015, in Ballina, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

While the man could not identified, NSW Ambulance Inspector Chris Wilson said it was “devastating for everybody on the beach this morning.” He explained, “A number of local surfers and bystanders came to the aid of this man, they were incredibly brave in a very challenging situation. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter winched in a critical care medical team onto the beach to continue treatment. The patient suffered a critical injury to his arm, but despite the best efforts of bystanders, paramedics, and other emergency services, the patient couldn’t be revived.” Shelly Beach is popular with surfers. It is located at the northern end of the Look At Me Now Headland at Emerald Beach, which is about 15 minutes north of Coffs Harbour.

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November 2021

The 57-year-old Paul Millachip was swimming at Port Beach on November 6, 2021, in North Fremantle, Western Australia, while his wife and adult children spent time on the beach. At some point, Millachip was attacked by a large shark in an incident witnessed by four teens who were just yards away from the swimmer in a small dingy. 

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57-year-old Paul Millachip (R) lost his life while swimming at Port Beach on November 6, 2021, in North Fremantle, Western Australia. (WA Police)

“They vividly saw what was going on in the water... a person being attacked by a shark,’” WA Police Senior Sergeant Troy Douglas said. Millachip was seen struggling before being dragged underwater. The shark reportedly tore his body into two pieces. The beast had already consumed one piece when the dingy approached to help. Coast authorities and Sea Rescue boast scoured the area to search for Millachip's remains, but could only retrieve a pair of swim goggles that he was thought to be wearing before the tragic incident.

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