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Shark Attacks Surfer During Competition on Live TV

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surfer shark attackAn “unprecedented” shark attack occurred during a surfing competition broadcast on live TV, frightening viewers at the event and at home alike.

As reported by Surfer Magazine, Mick Fanning was awaiting his turn to compete in the final heat of the 2015 J-Bay Open in South Africa against Julian Wilson when what is suspected to be a great white attacked him from behind.  The entire ordeal was captured on film. [youtube id=”xrt27dZ7DOA” align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no”]

Fanning amazingly came out of the attack without injury, and afterwards gave a full account of his terrifying encounter.

“I’m tripping out right now. I just saw the footage of the attack. I was just waiting for my opportunity in the heat and I knew Julian was down the point. 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. I got pulled under water and was being dragged under by my leg rope. Then it kicked me off and I punched it a couple of times. Then my leg rope break and I was just swimming. I was yelling at Julian to get away but he was coming towards me to help. What a legend. Then I was just readying myself for it to come at me again so I turned around, hoping I could at least see it coming. And then before I knew it the boat was there and I was safe.”
Wilson, who rushed to Fanning’s aid, also spoke of the attack.
“I couldn’t believe what I was watching. I saw the thing pop up behind him,” he said through broken tears. “I saw him wrestling it and saw him get knocked off his board. Then a little wave popped up and I couldn’t see him. I thought he’d gone under…it felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough. I literally thought that I wasn’t gonna get there in time. I thought ‘I’ve got a board. If I can get there in time I’ve got a weapon and I could stab the shark.’ Then he started screaming at me, we both started screaming, and then the boats came in [to help]…it’s all too much really.”
The remainder of the event has been called off.  Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson will split the first place rewards.

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