Mick Fanning Shark Attack: Surfer Escapes During Surfing Competition (VIDEO)
Australian surfer Mick Fanning says he had to punch a shark in the back to avoid getting attacked. The scary incident, caught on live TV, happened Sunday in South Africa during the J-Bay Open final surfing competition. Watch the video below.
In the video, Fanning is seen sitting in the water near his surfboard, waiting for a wave when suddenly two sharks appear behind him. Fanning immediately starts trying to swim out of the way, but briefly gets knocked underwater by a big wave. As an announcer tells people to get out of the water, the Water Safety Team rushes forward and pulls Fanning and his competitor Julian Wilson out of the water and onto a rescue boat.
“I was just sitting there. I was just about to start moving, and then I felt something grab… get stuck in my leg rope,” said Fanning. “I instantly jumped and he kept coming at my board. I was just kicking and screaming.” He added that he then “punched [the shark] in the back.”
Wilson got very emotional and had to wipe away tears as he talked about watching Fanning try to fight away the sharks. “I saw the whole thing,” said Wilson, noting, “I saw him get knocked off his board and then a little wave popped up, and I was like, ‘He’s going… he’s going under. And I felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough.’”
Following Fanning’s shark attack, the J-Bay Open was cancelled, and both Fanning and Wilson split the winning points and prize money. Check out the video below of Fanning fighting off the shark, and tell us what you think.