Mick Fanning, Australian surfing legend, fought off a shark attack on Sunday, in the middle of a competition in South Africa. The 34-year-old surfer was a finalist in the J-Bay Open when the shark came behind him, and the entire horrifying incident was captured live on TV.
As the three-time world surfing champion waited for his first wave of the final, a fin appeared behind him. He noticed the shark at the last moment and tried paddling away, but he was knocked off his board before he could use it in order to stop the animal biting him.
Then, a wave hid the famous surfer – who was competing against fellow Australian Julian Wilson – as he was struggling to escape, which made the whole situation even more agonising. Soon enough, a rescue boat appeared and Fanning was helped to shore alongside Wilson.
After the shocking incident, Fanning – who was uninjured and visibly shaken – said that he was getting dragged under by his leg rope, but once it broke, he started swimming and screaming. He went on to explain that he didn’t see the teeth, just the fin, and that he punched the shark in the back.
Fanning’s mother, Elizabeth Osborne, reportedly saw the whole thing on live TV, and for a moment feared she had lost another son. Osborne’s other son, Sean, died in a car accident 17 years ago, and she said he was looking out for his brother.