A devastated friend of Sydney shark attack victim Simon Nellist has revealed the 35-year-old British man’s wedding to the “girl of his dreams” had been delayed due to Covid before he was killed.

The swimmer was mauled to death by a great white shark as he trained for a charity ocean swim, ahead of his planned wedding to Sydney’s Jessie Ho.

He was only 150m away from the beach at Buchan Point, near Little Bay in Sydney, when the shark struck. This has been the first fatal attack in the area in nearly 60 years.

The British expat’s remains were found in the water on Wednesday afternoon following the ordeal. The tragedy happened as the former Royal Air Force (RAF) serviceman was due to marry the “girl of his dreams”.

A close friend of Mr Nellist told The Sun: “Him and Jessie were due to get married last year but that got put off because of Covid.

“It’s just horrendous. We spent most of yesterday just hoping and praying it wasn’t him. It’s still incredibly raw.”

“Simon was amazing. That’s all there is to say really. He was just the best.

“He was the nicest, kindest human. It is a huge loss.”

The close friend of Mr Nellis revealed that Simon “fell in love” with Australia after going travelling around six years ago. He also claimed Simon was an “experienced swimmer who really knew the water”.

“He was massively into wildlife and knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn’t daft. It’s just a freak accident.

“Simon was doing his diving and he would send us the most amazing videos of the wildlife out there. He was so respectful of the wildlife.

“He finished in the RAF about six years ago and he went travelling and then just fell in love with it out there. Then he fell in love with Jessie.

Witnesses said they heard the victim yell out for help in desperation as the shark pounced just after 4:30 pm on Wednesday.

The great white allegedly “attacked vertically” before dragging the man’s body out of the ocean.

Expert Lawrence Chlebeck said that the ferocious shark probably mistook the swimmer, reportedly wearing a wetsuit, for a seal when it launched and attacked.

The 35-year-old was a regular swimmer in the bay where the frenzy occurred, according to local MP Michael Daley.

One of the swimmer’s heartbroken friends, Della Ross, told Seven News: “Everything that is connected to Simon is connected to the ocean.

“He loved the water, he loved diving.”

Images: Facebook

This article first appeared on OverSixty.