Mick Fanning, a three-time world champion professional surfer from Australia, was waiting to catch a set in the final round of the J-Bay Open surfing competition in Jeffreys Bay off the coast of South Africa when he encountered a shark attack.
“I was getting dragged under by my leg wrap, and then I felt like it kicked me off, but it was still there, and I was still attached to my board. I felt like it was dragging me under water, and then my leg wrap broke, and I started swimming and screaming.”
34-year-old Fanning said he was able to punch the shark in the back, which is perhaps what saved his life. He was rescued by the safety personnel on jet-skis and then taken to the safety boat nearby. Fanning was the defending champion of this event which was cancelled after the incident for the safety of the competitors.
Fanning said he was “totally fine” and that the only damage done was to his surfboard and leg wrap.