Most people who get into a fight with a shark don’t live to tell the tale. But for Australian surfer Mick Fanning, it was just another day at the office.
Fanning was waiting for the perfect wave during the final rounds of the J-Bay Open when a menacing dorsal fin suddenly emerged from the waters behind him. Just as it got close enough to attack, the surfer noticed the animal and braced himself by desperately clinging to his board. From the shore, all spectators could see afterwards were giant splashes as Fanning grappled with the shark, desperately trying to battle it away. Things weren’t looking good for the Australian athlete either after he was knocked off the board and into the open ocean.
Once exposed, he appeared to be yanked underwater several times as shocked commentators look on. Miraculously, Fanning somehow resurfaced and began swimming to shore. He arrived shaken, but completely uninjured.
“I felt something grab–got stuck in my leg rope,” he said shortly after the attack. “…it just kept coming at my board and I just was like kicking and screaming.”
Even in his frightened state though, the surfer didn’t go down without a fight.
“I punched it in the back,” he said.
Not surprisingly, The World Surf League cancelled the rest of the event, with the two finalists agreeing to take second place in the competition. The first-place prize money will also be split between the pair.
You can check out the attack for yourself in the video above.