‘Small’ Great White shark did not intend to kill surfer Mick Fanning, say experts

21 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Small’ Great White shark did not intend to kill surfer Mick Fanning, say experts.

Australian surfer Mick Fanning has posted an emotional message thanking his rival mate Julian Wilson for his bravery and declaring he will return to the beach where he fought off a terrifying shark attack in South Africa. “So thankful to be able to have this hug with @julian_wilson this man came to my aid like a warrior!!” Fanning wrote on Instagram with a photo of the pair locked in an embrace after the incident. FOX Business Network’s Robert Gray talked with World Surf League CEO Paul Speaker about the shark attack on pro-surfer Mick Fanning and how the surfing community is working with its partner GoPro to better protect surfers in the world’s most dangerous waters.

Carl Safina, the marine conservationist and author, had the following observation after reading “From White Sharks to Tigers, Can We Get Comfortable with Carnivores?” — last week’s post on signs of shifting attitudes toward predatory species in the sea and on land: A different attitude toward predators is apparent in many places as people in the U.S. and Europe accommodate to wolves, bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and hawks, accepting some risk and inconvenience. The surfer from Coolum Beach, Queensland, replied to Fanning’s message by tweeting an image of himself sitting next to his girlfriend on a plane, with glasses raised. “Shark attack on @mfanno during the final in Jbay . Mick Fanning was waiting for a wave off the coast of the Eastern Cape town of Jeffrey’s Bay, watched by thousands of spectators from the shore, when the creature struck. I cannot believe you’re ok brother WOW !!!!!!Hallucinant !!!!! #sharkattack #live …we lost many friends and brothers in reunion island lately with shark attacks so this shows how lucky Mick was this time,” posted Jeremy Flores. “So so relieved @Mick_Fanning & @julian_wilson made it out of lineup unharmed after Mick was terrifyingly attacked by a shark at #JBayOpen,” wrote Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons.

The shark’s dorsal fin is seen looming over Mr Fanning’s head and shoulders in the water as the pair grappled and thrashed in the water, filmed by cameras broadcasting live from shore. “Great White sharks are apex predators and naturally very inquisitive. That’s probably why you see the thrashing,” she said. “It was a fairly young, small Great White, you can tell from the colouration, of around two to two and a half metres.

At the marina where I keep my boat, the guy whose boat is tied up across from mine—a good fisherman—is rather gruff and has never been friendly to me, often avoiding even saying hello. People thought there were two because they mistook the caudal (rear) fin for another shark’s dorsal fin.” Geremy Cliff, spokesman for the KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board, said the chances of emerging from a Great White encounter without a scratch were, however, slim and Mr Fanning “dodged the bullet”. “He was very very fortunate,” he said. “But it looks to me that this was an investigation by the shark rather than an attack. The gruff, unfriendly guy came up alongside me and said to me, “I don’t see why they’re still killing these things; what’s the point?” That really surprised me, both that he chose to comment to me and for the sentiment itself.

Other training is probably more important and you can see from Mick and his ability to get away from that shark, he’s in unbelievable shape and to battle (the shark) is something else—incredible. I guess he had a very big fright too.” Kelly Slater, a former world champion, said he heard from a friend that a shark had been detected by a drone in the vicinity about four hours before the attack. “I got an email from a friend tonight who said he clearly saw a shark figure in a wave during the quarter-finals from a drone shot,” Mr Slater said on Instagram. Koffie Jacobs, the local organiser of the J-Bay Open final in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, said scans of the sea by the tournament’s drone cameraman had revealed nothing of concern. I wonder whether there is something else, too, in this widening acceptance of animals with pointy teeth: We accept risk in our daily lives (each time we drive, for instance) and we have become inured to endless wars and news of new atrocities.

The World Surfing League confirmed after the attack that Mr Fanning and his friend Julian Wilson, who was pictured swimming towards him to help during the attack, had decided to split the prize money for equal second place after the tournament was cancelled. Meanwhile Mr Fanning’s mother Elizabeth Osborne told an Australian broadcaster how she had been watching the tournament on live TV and was “absolutely terrified”. “I went over to the television almost as though I could pull him out … to save him.

It seems—judging from reactions I’m getting to my new book—that many people are looking to animals as sources of sanity and peace, and many regard them as in some ways better-natured than we are. Speaking to a reporter from inside a rescue boat, Fanning, who appeared both emotionally rattled and exhilarated, described his brief battle with the shark. “I was just sitting there.

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