Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning was competing in the J-Bay Open of the Men’s Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour in South Africa when he was attacked by a large shark and the entire thing was caught on the live broadcast.
Rescuers raced to Fanning after an initial jolt and struggle with the shark, and thankfully the surfing champ is okay, just a bit shaken up.
Said Fanning: “I had this instinct that something was behind me…Then, the thing came up….I saw the whole thing just thrashing around. I was getting dragged under by my leg rope. I felt like I punched it a couple of times…. My leg rope broke. I started just swimming and swimming. I was screaming…I just can’t believe it. I’m just tripping out. I just want to let all my friends and family know that I’m OK. I’m just tripping out.”
Watch the terrifying moment:
Said Paul Speaker (CEO, World Surf League): “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 #JBayOpen. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team.”