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Sydney Beaches Reopen After Shark Attack

A fisheries boat patrols the site of a fatal shark attack off Little Bay Beach in Sydney on Feb. 17, 2022, as authorities try to catch a great white shark that killed a swimmer, the city's first such attack in decades.

Authorities in Sydney reopened several beaches Friday, a day after the first fatal shark attack in the area since 1963.

Baited lines and drones were being used to try to track and catch the shark involved in Wednesday’s attack. The beaches were allowed to reopen, Randwick City Mayor Dylan Parker said, when no sharks had been seen in the area.

The victim of the attack was identified as Simon Nellist, 35, a diving instructor. Nellist, who had served in the U.K. Royal Air Force, moved to Australia about six years ago, according to local news reports. He was a regular swimmer and a member of the local scuba diving club.

A video shared online showed a shark attacking a swimmer Wednesday off Little Bay Beach, about 20 kilometers south of Australia’s largest city, Sydney, near the entrance to Botany Bay.

Officials said they believed a great white shark at least 3 meters in length was responsible.

In addition to beach closures, an ocean swimming race scheduled for Sunday has been postponed following the attack.

Australia uses shark nets to reduce the chances of an attack, but they can't completely prevent one.

Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.