Surfer Mick Fanning survives shark attack at South Africa’s J-Bay final

20 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3-time world champ Fanning escapes shark attack during surfing competition in South Africa.

A shaken Mick Fanning has said he’d be happy to never compete again after being attacked by a shark at the J-Bay Open surf competition in South Africa. Fanning was facing fellow Australian Julian Wilson in the event’s final when he was forced to fight off the great white, which pulled him under water and bit through the leg rope of his surf board. ‘I was swimming in and I had this thought ‘what if comes for another go at me’, so I turned around, so I could at least see it, and before I knew it the boat was there, the jetskis were there.

The Australian surfer was struck by the shark from behind and knocked into the water as he sat on his board waiting his turn during the JBay Open in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape Province. Geremy Cliff, head of Research at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, said that whilst it is nearly impossible to ascertain why the shark attacked Fanning, it was likely that the animal was “investigating” the surfer. “If we are speculating about the motive of the incident it is either that the shark was feeding and mistook the surfer and his board for prey. He is next seen furiously trying to swim to safety before a rescuer pulls him out of the water. “I felt something grab, get stuck in my leg rope and instantly jump away. 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. Considering that there was no actual bite in this case I would tend to say that shark was just investigating Fanning. “He is obviously very fortunate not to have been injured or killed.

And it just kept coming at my board,” Fanning said, once safe on the rescue boat. “I saw it taking my board away and I just started cracking it,” he told a crowd that gathered around him once he was back on shore, referring to how he struck the shark. “I’m totally fine. 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. Oh man.” The World Surf League cancelled the remainder of the event and Fanning will split the prize money with fellow Australian surfer Julian Wilson, who was also in the water when the attack happened.

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