World reacts to ‘badass’ Fanning’s shark attack | News Entertainment

World reacts to ‘badass’ Fanning’s shark attack

20 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

Australian professional surfer and triple world champion Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark during a competition in South Africa on Sunday. There’s a swish in the ocean near your board, a flash of dorsal fin, something large brushes by and the water begins to churn like a supersized blender. Fanning, a three-time world champion from Australia, was sitting on his board during the finals of the J-Bay Open when a fin came up from behind him, the water around him splashing as he was knocked off of his board. “I felt it and I lifted my leg and it came up, I think it bit through my leg rope. I saw it taking my board away and I started cracking at it,” he told the World Surf League, making the motions of punching. “I was stuck and it was just pulling me 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.

Fanning frantically punched the fish as the other competitor, Julian Wilson, paddled toward him to try to help. “I was just about to start paddling and I had this instinct that something was behind me. Fanning, despite the close encounter, came away unharmed, but was clearly shaken after the attack. “The first thing you do is help,” he said, in online interview. “You know it could happen, you just never think it would … I got pulled under water and was being dragged under by my leg rope,” Fanning recounted in an interview with Surfer magazine. “Then it kicked me off and I punched it a couple of times.

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. 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. The surfing family, we’re all a close bunch.” Commentator Todd Kline, of San Clemente, recounted the response from fellow surfers: “To see how the surf community came together around our brother Mick, and to see how he came away unscathed, I’m just getting chicken skin.” “We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today.

And then before I knew it the boat was there and I was safe.” Television footage showed the shark attacking, its fin visible above the swirling water, in seas where great white sharks are commonly spotted. 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.” WSL commissioner Kieren Perrow said the remainder of the contest had been canceled, and Fanning and Wilson will both take second place and split the prize money.

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