'I had this instinct something was behind me': Surfing champion tells of J-Bay shark attack horror

By admin
20 July 2015

Surfing champion Mick Fanning punched a Great White that attacked him during the final heats of the J-Bay Open on Sunday.

In a tearful interview with www.worldsurfleague.com, Fanning described the moments where he grappled with the shark while trying to stay above water.

'I punched it a couple of times and it was dragging me under water'

“I was just cruising waiting for my turn and I felt like I was just about to start paddling and I had this instinct something was behind me,” he said.

“I just started getting pulled under water by my leg rope. It [the shark] came up and I was just getting pulled under. I punched it a couple of times and it was dragging me under water and then my leg rope broke,” he said, struggling to compose himself.

“I was swimming and just screaming and I just had this thought; what if it comes and has another go at me so I turned around so I could at least see it coming. Before I knew it the boat and jet skis were there,” Fanning said.

WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow confirmed that surfers would not return to the water on Sunday.

“It is definitely something we hope never to see in this sport and we definitely won’t be running anymore heats today and will not be sending them back out there,” he said.

“I think he [Fanning] is still processing it all like we all are right now. We are just so happy to see him alive and safe it and the outcome could have been terrible. It was a scary situation and we are all going to take some time to recover,” Perrow said.


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