Pro surfer Mick Fanning attacked by a shark

Published
20/07/2015

Pro surfer Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark at round 6 of the World Surf League Tour in South Africa.

Seconds after Mick Fanning (AUS) was attacked by a shark, he and Julian Wilson (AUS) were picked up by safety boats and removed from the water. The two were just minutes into the Final of at the J-Bay Open when Fanning was attacked, knocked off his board and had to fight off the shark several times.

Photo WSL

"We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick's composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable -- they are truly world class at what they do.” Commented WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow

"The safety of our athletes is a priority for the WSL and, after discussions with both Finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of competition at the J-Bay Open. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team."

Fanning said he was pulled under with his leg rope still attached to the board.  Fellow competitor Julian Wilson wept recounting the story as he couldn’t make it to his friend as he disappeared under the water.  Fanning punched the shark to stop the attack, came to the surface and swam towards the shore looking back for the shark with a safety crew on Jet skis making it to the stricken surfer.

Fanning and Wilson agreed to take second place each and split the prize money between them. This is the first time in surfing history that there has been an attack during an event.