Pro Surfer Mick Fanning Narrowly Escapes Shark Attack – Caught on Live TV (Video)

Surfer tells interviewer that he punched the shark to get away

Last Updated: July 20, 2015 @ 7:09 AM

The World Surf League canceled its J-Bay Open in South Africa after world champion surfer Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark.

In video caught on live TV, Fanning could be seen splashing away from the shark as horns blew and horrified announcers began realizing the danger he was in. A water safety team then arrived by boat and jet ski and pulled Fanning as well as competitor Julian Wilson to safety.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident.

Organizers of the event, the sixth stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League Championship Tour, went on to cancel the remainder of its competition and cleared the waters.

In an interview following the rescue, Fanning was visibly shaken.

“I was just sitting there, I was just about to just start moving, and then I felt something grab — got stuck in my leg rope,” he explained. “I just jumped away. It just kept coming at my board, and I was just kicking and screaming.

“I just saw fin,” he said. “I didn’t see the teeth [but] I was waiting to see teeth coming at me — I was like ‘Ahhhh!‘”

Wilson was also shaken by the incident, tearfully relating in a World Surf League interview posted on Facebook that he thought his friend was gone.

“I saw he got knocked off his board, and then like, a wave popped up, and I was like, ‘Ho, he’s gone,'” Fanning’s friend and fellow competitor said. “I felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough.”

 
Social media lit up with awe at the Australian surfer’s narrow escape with stars like Russell Crowe and Don Cheadle weighing in.

“Oh man, Mick Fanning post shark attack interview was hilarious. So glad nothing bad happened. My heart was racing just watching,” Crowe posted, while Cheadle employed some poop emoticons to sum up his response.

Watch the video and an interview with Fanning below.

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