Three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark Sunday during a competition off the coast of South Africa but escaped unharmed.
Fanning, who battled the shark for a few seconds before it swam away, was visibly shaken after being rescued by crews on jetskis and boats. “I just can’t believe it,” said Fanning, who was nearly overcome with emotion on multiple instances during his interview with the World Surf League’s official website. “I’m just tripping. … To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked.” Fanning, 34, was in the water in Jeffreys Bay — off South Africa’s eastern cape — waiting for his turn to compete when the shark attacked him. “All of the sudden, I just had this instinct that something was behind me,” the Australian said. “And then all of the sudden, I felt like I started getting pulled underwater. Then the [shark] came up, and I was on my board and it was like right there, and I saw the whole thing thrashing around.
Fanning said he was “totally fine,” claiming that the only things the shark damaged were his surfboard and leg wrap.