A terrified pro surfer battled a massive shark in front of horrified onlookers as he took part in a global contest.
Mick Fanning, 34, was off the coast of Eastern Cape, South Africa, when he was attacked – and the drama was captured live on TV, reported Agence France-Presse news agency. Amazingly, the Aussie escaped injury as he fought off the ferocious fish, thought to be a Great White or also-deadly bull species.
“The whole crowd rose to their feet in complete silence and then that was broken by the announcer screaming over the information system for people to get out of the water,” Smit said shortly afterwards.
“I am still in shock and I am shaking.”
Fanning, a triple world champ nicknamed “White Lightning”, was sitting on his board when the creature struck, tipping him into the water. The World Surf League, which organised the J-Bay Open competition, said two sharks were spotted in the water near Fanning and his rival Julian Wilson, also from Australia.
“We were all watching and then all of a sudden you could see the fin so we knew it was a shark,” spectator Kaylee Smit told the News24 website.
“We could see the splashing and he was knocked off his board.
“I thought this guy was going to die in front of us.”