Mick Fanning survives shark attack!

The three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning, was waiting for his turn to compete during the J-Bay Open when a shark attacked him. In a video posted by the World Surf League in its website, the shark’s fin was nearing Fanning when the surfer suddenly turned around and saw it. Fanning clutched to his board and seemed to struggle for a while. For a few seconds, Fanning could not be seen as the waters began to rise and the camera panned out as if in anticipation of something bad that was about to be captured in video.

Three jet skis arrived at Fanning’s position and when the camera zoomed in, the surfer was already aboard one of the vehicles. Fellow finalist Julian Wilson was also rescued. Both surfers were visibly shaken even after they have reached the shore. In an interview with ESPN, Fanning said he already had the instinct that something was behind him. He then felt something stuck in his leg rope. When he saw the shark, Fanning said he kept kicking and screaming and was able to punch the animal in the back until it swam away. Fanning was still in a state of disbelief and shock when he was interviewed by the WSL news crew.

“I’m just tripping. … To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked,” Fanning said. The WSL announced after a few hours that they are cancelling the competition; saying that their priority is the safety of the competitors. In a statement, the WSL praised Fanning’s composure and quick action and called it heroic. The WSL also commended the Water Safety personnel for their rapid response. Fanning and Wilson, after having a consultation with Commissioner Kieren Perrow, agreed to take second place each and split the prize money between them. Perrow, in an interview with ESPN, said he does not believe that a prior incident involving surfers and sharks have taken place.
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