The shark approached Fanning from behind during the live telecast of the event. Fanning said he used his surfboard to shield himself and punched the shark in the back, prompting it to swim away from the surfer.
The surfer was unharmed in the shark attack but the organizers cancelled rest of the day’s conetest.
Mick Fanning talking to mediapers immeditely after the incident said: “I was swimming in and I had this thought what if it comes for another go at me? So I turned around, so I could at least see it, and before I knew it the boat was there, the jet-skis were there, the jet-skis were there. I just can’t believe it.”
Fanning’s mother in Australia said she was terrified when saw the live footage of the shark attack on television. Liz Osborne, speaking from her home in Australia told media it was “the worst thing I’ve ever seen happen to any of my family because it was just there in front of me”.
One of her son was killed in the car accident in 1998 but the family were not with him at the time.
Organizers, the World Surf League, said Fanning was approached by two sharks, and that he and compet Wilson were both rescued from the water by jet-skis.
According to Reuters the waters are some of the Jeffreys Bay most shark-infested in the world, and that a surfer was killed by a Great White shark close to here in 2013.