Mick Fanning shark attack: Professional surfer escapes life-threatening encounter

Fanning managed to retreat to the safety of a boat and was unhurt after the shark attack

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The Independent Online

A professional surfer has survived after being attacked by a shark during a competition - with the dramatic scenes being broadcast on live television.

Mick Fanning was seen wading out on his board at Jeffreys Bay when a fin appeared behind him in the water.

As the shark made a lunge for the triple-world champion, Fanning leapt off his board and attempted to use it as a shield between himself and the predator in a bid to save his life.

Fanning – nicknamed ‘White Lightning’- managed to fight off the shark before making his way to the safety of a boat that came rushing to his aid.

The surfer emerged from the ocean unscathed, while even his board appeared to be in one piece.

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"I was just sitting there and I felt something just get stuck in my leg rope, and I was kicking trying to get it away," Fanning said afterwards.

"I just saw fins. I was waiting for the teeth."


Fanning was competing in the final against fellow Australian Julian Wilson when the incident occurred. Organisers cancelled the event after two sharks had been spotted in the area due to the risk of another attack being "too high".