Aussie Surfer Mick Fanning Punches Shark To Survive Attack At J-Bay Open

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Mick Fanning
Mick Fanning of Australia surfs during the men's Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Billabong Rio Pro championship at Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT)

Australian surfer Mick Fanning has miraculously survived a shark attack during the final round of the 2015 J-Bay Open in South Africa. World Surf League has called off the surfing competition giving second place points to Fanning and fellow finalist Julian Wilson and splitting the event prize money to the two Australian surfers. “White Lightning” had unbelievably escaped the shark attack after he “punched” the sea animal “a couple of times.”

Fanning was in the lineup waiting for his first wave of the final round when the shark attack occurred. The three-time world surfing champion noticed something lingering behind him and quickly paddled away, but was dragged off his board, the Guardian reported.

“I was just about to start paddling and I had this instinct that something was behind me. And then the shark came up from behind me and attacked,” Fanning said via

Fanning admitted that he was anticipating another attack from the shark after fending it off with punches at the back side of the killer animal. Fanning also said he readied himself for the shark to come again, but boats were already swarming towards the surfer after the terrifying moment.

Fortunately, the 34-year-old surfer was unharmed. Fanning had a lucky escape from the life-threatening attack as nearby boats rushed towards the spot where the surfer was swimming. He was then helped to shore alongside Wilson, who was equally shaken by what transpired in the open water.

WSL released an official statement after the incident saying that the league was “incredibly grateful” that no one was seriously harmed in the surfing event. The surfing organization described Fanning’s action as “heroic” after fighting for his life with the shark.

"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,” the statement said on WSL’s official website.

Fanning won the 2007, 2009, and 2013 ASP world tour and is considered one of the greats of modern surfing. He is currently second in the standings for the 2015 title completing six of 11 events.

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Video courtesy: Youtube/World Surf League