When it comes to surfing in the ocean, there are always things out there that could cause you harm. Not only are you trying to navigate through large waves and swells, but you are up against the elements. Some of these elements may include boats manned by clueless drives, but probably the scariest element would be the animals lurking in the deep waters. We all know they are in there, but we don’t realize how close we are to them until it’s really too late. Over the weekend, the Association of Surfing Professionals held the J-Bay open in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. J-Bay is short for Jeffrey’s Bay and offers some amazing surfing for professionals, making it an ideal location for this event. While swimming in the ocean waters, Australian professional surfer and triple world championship Mick Fanning was waiting for the perfect wave. The event was being broadcast live on TV, but nobody was expecting this to happen!
You can see the shark coming up behind Mick Fanning. He was about to live through a story that would be almost unbelievable if it weren’t caught on camera.
Check out the video below:
World Surf League spokesman Dave Prodan said, “Outside of a severed leash, Fanning was physically unscathed.”
Fellow Australian surfer and competitor, Julian Wilson, darted towards Fanning as soon as he saw what was happening. They were both in the water at the time of the attack, but Wilson was quite a bit away. He swam as fast as he could towards Fanning in hopes of saving him.
Once Fanning was able to take in the enormity of what happened to him, he definitely looks a bit scared. That is a lot to process in a short amount of time.
When Fanning was back on solid ground, he was immediately surrounded by friends offering their emotional support.
Below is an interview with Fanning a few days after the incident. Everything has really begun to sink in.
As soon as the video started to circulate around the world, the memes started to roll in and they are definitely hilarious now that we know Mick Fanning will be okay.
Awww sad shark. At least it is remorseful.
I can’t believe he hit him in the back. That shark looks so friendly.
I guess Mick Fanning is now being compared to Brock Lesnar.
This one is just magical.
Truer words have never been spoken.
WOW! That is absolutely insane and I cannot believe he survived and was able to walk, well swim, away without any injuries. It’s believed that the shark was a Tiger Shark and it approached Fanning from behind, catching him and everyone watching by surprise. During the video, all I was wishing was that the waves would magically disappear so you could see the tremendous fight between Fanning and the shark. When they asked World Surf League Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel about the incident, he said, “There were two sharks apparently… the horn blasted. This is the first time in professional surfing history, no one has experienced a situation like that.” While they all know that this is one of the dangers of surfing in open waters, everyone was more than thrilled that Fanning came out the victor in that fight. Wouldn’t it be nice if surfing competitions were held in a controlled environment instead, but it would probably take away some of the excitement. Fanning said, “I was just about to start moving and then I felt something grab [and] get stuck in my leg rope. And I instantly just jumped away and it just kept coming at my board. I started kicking and screaming. I was waiting for the teeth to come at me as I was swimming.” He later admitted that he would be happy to not compete ever again. After Fanning’s fight for survival, they decided to call of the finals of the competition and the surfers split the prize money.