Australian surfer Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark during the J-Bay Open at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa this afternoon.
The Gold Coast surfer miraculously escaped unharmed as spectators watched in horror.
Mick was in the Finals against fellow Australian Julian Wilson (who actually swam towards Mick to help him!). Both were rescued by a safety boat.
Mick relived the events in an interviev on the boat (see video below) saying: “I was just about to start moving and then I felt something grab [and] get stuck in my leg rope. And I instantly just jumped away and it just kept coming at my board. I was just started kicking and screaming. Wow!” Mick said he managed to hit the shark in the back.
The competition has been cancelled. Mick, just so relieved to be alive, said “I’m happy to not even compete ever again. Seriously, to walk away from that, I’m just so stoked.”
The World Surf League (WSL) issued an official statement after the attack:
“We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick’s composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable — they are truly world class at what they do.
“The safety of our athletes is a priority for the WSL and, after discussions with both Finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of competition at the J-Bay Open. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team.”
Watch Video – Mick Fanning Attacked by a Shark
Watch Video – Mick Fanning Shark Attack PLUS Interview with Mick
Here’s a slow motion view: