Cape Town - American Kelly Slater, 11-time world surfing champion, has consoled Australian rival Mick Fanning after his harrowing incident in the final of the J-Bay Open, drawing him into an embrace.
Fanning, taking on compatriot Julian Wilson in the final, had a close encounter with a Great White shark on Sunday.
"Now I've seen it all," Slater said following the attack.
"I was coming up the beach and I saw all the boats and skis go straight to the line-up.
"I knew there was only one possible reason that would ever happen in a contest and that's if someone got attacked by a shark.
"I ran up the beach trying to get some information. I'm halfway between crying and laughing because he (Fanning) got so lucky. I'm lost for words to be honest. We almost just watched our friend get eaten by a shark and I'm just blown away that there's no damage at all."
Slater took to Instagram to further express his delight that all ended well, posting of picture of the two champion surfers embracing.
Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark during the J-Bay Open, managing to punch and kick it away (World Surf League)
Glad to know this guy and even happier that he swam/walked away unscathed. The only mark on him is a tiny scratch (probably from hitting the shark) on his left hand knuckle. I got an email from a friend tonight who said he clearly saw a shark figure in a wave during the quarterfinals from a drone shot. There were multiple water photogs (including @jimmicane who shot this photo) swimming all day. I believe good things come to good people and although you can't say this was 'good', the outcome was amazing. @mfanno's instincts kicked into high gear and his scramble to face the shark and keep the board between them may have saved him. The scariest moment was when he turned around to face where the shark would be coming from after swimming 20 meters towards shore. I can't even imagine the vulnerability he must've felt. Great job by the contest announcers, water safety for getting right on it, @julian_wilson for paddling to help a friend out and basically everyone there to support. Hey, you didn't surf half bad this week either! #GiveHimTheTrophy!