Mick Fanning shark attack: 58-year-old one-eyed surfer waited just one hour before going back into the water

The Australian surfer even more hard-core than Mick Fanning

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The Independent Online

The footage of three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning being attacked by a shark on live television was probably enough for most people to avoid surfing for a while - especially at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, where the incident took place.

Not for one man however. Derek Hynd, a 58-year-old former top surfer and journalist who is blind in one eye, waited just 60 minutes before heading back into the water near Port Elizabeth at the bottom of the African continent.

Hynd, also of Australian descent like Fanning, told Stag magazine that he saw the video of the attack on the internet.

"And you thought it might be a good time to go surf?" the interviewer asks.

"Not at all," Hynd replied. "I waited an hour."

Hynd said that Jeffreys Bay was known as a shark hot-spot but that there had been a marked increase in numbers over the years.

"Well, there's a spawning ground down," he said. "Generally, they're following the dolphins down and the dolphins are following other fish down, that's all.

"The fishermen have noted extraordinary numbers of sharks underneath, more so than I think twenty years ago, and I blame shark-cage diving lock, stock and barrel.

Hynd praised Fanning's reactions: "That was a big shark and it was like Bam Bam in The Flintstones. He did good." Fanning said that he managed to punch the shark during the incident. The Australian was not injured in the attack, but he said afterwards "It's more of an emotional, mental trauma. It will probably take a couple of weeks, months, I don't know how long it's going to take [to get over it]."

58-year-old Hynd agreed that it was right to call of the surfing championship that Fanning was participating at the time of the attack. "They can't run it. That's it, that's the end of the event. Psychologically, you couldn't go back out."