72°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Shark attacks, pro surfer survives on live TV — VIDEO

JEFFREY‘S BAY, South Africa — Australia‘s triple champion Mick Fanning survived a shark attack in Sunday‘s final of the World Surf League‘s J-Bay Open, fighting off the circling predator with his fists before returning safely to shore.

Fanning was paddling out to ride his first wave when the unidentified species of shark surfaced next to him, knocking the 34-year-old off his board.

"I was just sitting there and I felt something just get stuck in my leg rope, and I was kicking trying to get it away," Fanning, nicknamed ‘White Lightning," told Fox Sports. "I punched him in the back".

"I instantly just jumped away. It kept coming at my board and I was kicking and screaming. I just saw fins. I was waiting for the teeth."

After the shark apparently swam away, the shaken three-time world champion headed towards the beach and was picked up by a support craft.

The incident, which was broadcast on live TV, led to the cancellation of the final against compatriot Julian Wilson.

"We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today," the World Surf League (WSL) said in a statement.

"Mick‘s composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our water safety personnel was commendable.

"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."

South Africa‘s waters are among the most shark-infested in the world. A swimmer was killed by a Great White shark at Albatross Point close to Jeffrey‘s Bay in 2013.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Judge blocks Trump from constructing sections of border wall

A federal judge blocked on Friday President Donald Trump from building sections of his long-sought border wall with money secured under his declaration of a national emergency.

Missouri governor signs bill banning abortions at 8 weeks

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a bill that bans abortions on or beyond the eighth week of pregnancy without exceptions for cases of rape or incest, making it among the most restrictive abortion policies in the nation.

GOP conservative blocks overdue $19B disaster bill, for now

A House GOP conservative complaining of Washington’s free-spending and opaque ways temporarily blocked a long-overdue $19 billion disaster aid bill on Friday.

 
West Point to graduate record number of black female cadets

The class of cadets preparing to jubilantly toss their caps in the air at the U.S. Military Academy’s graduation ceremony Saturday includes 34 black women, a record number that’s a sign of concerted efforts to diversify West Point’s Long Gray Line.

Abortion opponents widely divided over rape, incest issues

Even as the anti-abortion movement celebrates the sweeping bans passed in several states, it’s divided by a widening rift over whether those prohibitions should apply to victims of rape and incest.

CEOs get $800K pay raise, leaving workers further behind

Pay for CEOs at S&P 500 companies rose to a median of $12 million last year, including salary, stock and other compensation, according to data analyzed by Equilar.