May 20, 2022

This is the scary moment when a shark’s arm and leg were cut off by a shark in Sydney 12 years before Burt Simon Nellst was killed.

The former Australian Navy diver said Nelst’s death off the coast of Sydney on Wednesday refreshed his memory of being close to his own death with a shark.

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Paul de Gelder broke his leg and arm during a 2009 diving exercise.
The former Australian Navy divers were on a military exercise when the attack took place in Sydney Harbor

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The former Australian Navy divers were on a military exercise when the attack took place in Sydney Harbor

In February 2009, Paul de Gelder was diving in Sydney Harbor when he was attacked by a bull shark that tore off his arm and leg.

“I didn’t feel the teeth go in,” he said. “It just felt like pressure, because their teeth are so sharp, and designed to be easily cut into straight pieces.”

“It has about 36 razor blades on either side and they move against each other, sawing the flesh until they meet in the middle and then tearing the rest.

“I was bursting at the seams, and I was drowning.”

The former Navy clearance driver was conducting a routine military exercise with the Australian Navy when a shark ripped off his right lower arm and leg.

He said: “I was swimming on the surface of the water wearing a black wet suit, black feathers and lying on my back as if a wounded seal was floating around.

Most read in the Scottish Sun.

“The bull shark came from under me and dragged me into the water, grabbing me by the right leg and hand in the same bite.

“I could feel my hamstring and hand muscles bursting at the same time.

It was as if two rows of about 36 razor blades on either side of my leg and wrist, breaking my body.

“I tried to fight him but I could not do anything. I began to lose hope and I resigned myself to this fate and went away with it.

“Until I realized that my hand had reached the surface and I was not dead, the shark splashed on my face and swam leaving me in its own pool of blood.

“I saw the safety boat approaching, but I didn’t think I’d build it on time. I thought the shark would be back to finish me off.”

Mr de Gelder spent three months in rehabilitation, but miraculously returned to work for the Navy.

He wanted to return to his old job as a diver, but was given a public speech in 2012.

Double Ampute is now an encouraging speaker that raises awareness about the role of sharks in the ecosystem.

Nelst, 35, was killed by a 15-foot-tall white shark while training to swim in a charity sea in Little Bay, Sydney.

Remains of British immigrants were found in the water on Wednesday afternoon after a horrific ordeal.

Nelst was a British soldier who made two trips to Afghanistan before settling in Sydney with the “girl of his dreams”.

His tragic death was the first fatal attack in the region in nearly 60 years.

Like Simon Nielsen, De Gelder was a diver and a soldier.

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Like Simon Nielsen, De Gelder was a diver and a soldier.
Australian athlete says he can still 'tear' his hamstring muscles and arm

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Australian athlete says he can still ‘tear’ his hamstring muscles and arm
De Gelder says watching the incident this week brings back memories of his own encounter with the Sharks.

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De Gelder says watching the incident this week brings back memories of his own encounter with the Sharks.

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