Mick Fanning Escapes Shark Attack During Live Broadcast of Competition

20 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jaw-dropping: World champion surfer battles shark on live TV in S. African competition.

Pro surfer Mick Fanning escaped injury after a shark attacked him during a competition in South Africa on Sunday — and it all played out during live TV. The shark – described as a “big tiger shark” by the event’s live commentators, approached Fanning from behind as he was sitting on his board in the waters of Jeffreys Bay (also known as J-Bay) getting ready to compete. A three-time world champion from Australia, Fanning had just begun to compete in the final when he was knocked off his surfboard. “I was just sitting there, I was just about to start moving, and then I felt something grab, just get stuck in my leg rope,” he said, sounding remarkably calm moments later. “I instantly just jumped away, and then it just kept coming at my board.

In the broadcast, the shark could be seen launching itself at the surfer, known by the nickname “White Lightning,” who then disappeared from his board. I was kicking and screaming. “All of [a] sudden, I just had this instinct that something was behind me,” Fanning told WorldSurfLeague.com. “And then all of a sudden, I felt like I started getting pulled under water.

I started kicking and screaming,” he said on board the safety boat, adding that he “didn’t see the teeth,” but had seen the shark’s fin. “I was waiting for the teeth to come at me as I was swimming,” he said. He broke down several times as he tried to describe what happened and his belief that Fanning might be killed. “It’s shaken everyone,” WSL Commissioner Kieran Perrow said of the incident. “We’re just happy to see [Fanning] safe and alive. The unprecedented attack happened during the final of the Association of Surfing Professionals’ J-Bay Open event in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

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