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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# tripping out
Watch: Professional surfer fends off shark attack during competition
Mick Fanning came through the incident shaken but without injury.

PROFESSIONAL SURFER MICK Fanning fought off a great white shark attack on live TV on Sunday during the finals of the J-Bay Open of the Men’s Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour in South Africa.

He made it out unscathed. He was visibly shaken up from the incident though.

The 34-year-old Australian surfer told a broadcaster from the World Surf League what happened while he was waiting to catch his wave in the final heat.

“I had this instinct that something was behind me … Then, the thing came up … I saw the whole thing just thrashing around. I was getting dragged under by my leg rope. I felt like I punched it a couple of times … My leg rope broke. I started just swimming and swimming. I was screaming,” he said.

Fanning added: “I just can’t believe it. I’m just tripping out.”

“I just want to let all my friends and family know that I’m OK. I’m just tripping out,” he said.

Fellow surfer and competitor Julian Wilson was also shaken up by the incident. Wilson and Fanning were competing against each other in the finals.

In a tearful interview, Wilson recounted how he thought his friend was “gone.” When Wilson saw Fanning being attacked, his reaction was to paddle over and help him.

“I’m happy that he’s here,” he said.

No more heats will be going in the water for the J-Bay Open today after the attack.

Fanning is one of the best surfers in the world.

Michael Bullard / YouTube

Read: A shark gets stuck on a beach… and something heartwarming happens

Also: 68-year-old man attacked by shark in waist-deep water

Published with permission from
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