Mick Fanning Shark Attack


Say it with us, now: "AAAAAAAH!"

Australian surfer Mick Fanning, 34, was attacked by not one but two sharks while taking part in J-Bay Open competition in South Africa on Sunday. Thankfully, he was unharmed.

The terrifying ordeal was captured on live TV. Fanning is seen wading out into the surf and then being knocked off his board.

"Holy s--t!" an announcer said during the World Surf League's broadcast, which was posted on the group's YouTube page. "Excuse me."

After the attack, the competition was called off. Both Fanning and a fellow surfer who was in the water, Julian Wilson, were picked up by safety personnel on jet skis.

"Oh man, I'm trippin'," Fanning, a three-time world surfing champion, told a reporter for the World Surf League. "I'm totally fine, I've got nothing wrong with me."

"I was just sitting there...and then I felt something grab, like get stuck in my leg rope and I just instantly just jumped away and they just kept coming at my board and I was just like kicking and screaming," he said. "I just saw fins. I didn't see the teeth. I punched it in the back."

The World Surf League plans to resume the competition once it's determined that the water is safe.

"This is the first time in professional surfing history...nobody ever experienced a situation like there, where a surfer is actually attacked by two sharks right when the final starts," said Renato Hickel, the WSL deputy commissioner.

"We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today," the group said in a statement. "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."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share