An incredibly rare incident took the surf world by storm this morning, when three-time world surfing champ Mick Fanning was caught on live television and webcast this morning narrowly escaping a shark attack. The Inertia reported that during the J-Bay open off the coast of South Africa, Fanning was in the Final round against Julian Wilson, when a “grey dorsal fin” surfaced nearby. Like a bad ass, Fanning began to kick and punch and attempt to swim away as the shark actually bit his leash in half. “I was getting dragged under by my leg wrap, and then I felt like it kicked me off, but it was still there, and I was still attached to my board. I felt like it was dragging me under water, and then my leg wrap broke, and I started swimming and screaming.” Thanks to a fast-acting crew, he’s safe and sound. The surfer told ESPN, “I just can’t believe it… To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked.”
It is speculated that this is the very first shark attack that has ever occurred during a professional surfing competition. The J-Bay Open has been placed on hiatus until further notice. In the video below, you can see the moment the announcer realized what was happening, and exclaims, “Holy shit, excuse my—” as we see Fanning visibly fighting the shark.