Mick Fanning donates $75,000 to fellow shark attack victim Matt Lee

The body boarder had to be put into a medically induced coma

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The Independent Online

The professional surfer who survived a shark attack during a competition broadcast on live TV has donated tens of thousands of pounds to another surfer attacked by a great white shark.

Mick Fanning, a three-time world champion, punched the creature in a bid to stop the attack during the JBay Open surfing competition in Jeffrey’s Bay, Eastern Cape Province.

The Australian pro surfer appeared in a TV interview on Channel Nine's 60 Minutes on Sunday night, and has said he will donate that fee to help fellow surfer Matt Lee, who was attacked in Ballina in June.

Lee, whose accident received far less media attention than Fanning's, received serious injuries to both his legs and had to be put into a medically induced coma. Heremains at Gold Coast University Hospital where he is still receiving treatment.

Upon hearing of Lee’s injuries, the Courier Mail revealed that Fanning donated AU $75,000 to Lee, an amount which he was due to receive for appearing on the Australian television programme 60 Minutes.

Fanning hoped to visit Lee in hospital during his segment on 60 Minutes, an Australian current affairs programme; however Lee was unable to appear as he is still in need of surgery.

David Gyngell, the chief of the network which hosts the programme, has also personally added a further AU $25,000 to Fanning’s donation.

Fanning, nicknamed White Lightning, fought off a shark on live television during the J-Bay Open surfing competition in South Africa last month.

The surfer remained uninjured after using his surfing board as a shield between himself and the carnivorous fish.

During his appearance on 60 Minutes Fanning revealed that he is seeking psychological counselling to help cope with his “demons” after the attack.

According to the Courier Mail , fanning told the programme: “I guess when something like this happens, you’re in your own mind, and your mind can play tricks on you. Your mind can turn shadows into demons”.

“And then you sort of have like different self-doubts, and like, why did I get away with that? I’m going to seek help, for sure. I think it’s the only way to deal with it.”