ByOlivia van der Will, writer at

Mick Fanning is one of the most talented surfers out there with 3x Surfing World Champion titles to his name. But, this legendary surfer just received an unexpected and terrifying new chapter to his life. Yesterday in South Africa a shark horrifyingly attacked him mid contest. The unimaginably scary horror unfolded as Mick was patiently waiting for his first wave of the final.

When in Mick's words:

“All of a sudden, I just had this instinct that something was behind me.”

He suddenly noticed what was behind him and tried to swim away but was torn off his board by the beastly shark:

"Then all of a sudden, I felt like I started getting pulled under water. Then the shark came up, and I was on my board and it was like right there, and I saw the whole thing thrashing around. I was getting dragged under by my leg [rope], and then I felt like it kicked me off, but it was still there, and I was still attached to my board. I felt like it was dragging me under water, and then my leg rope broke, and I started swimming and screaming.

The drama was shown on live television and Mick's poor mother could only watch in horror as the attack unfolded. When the wave then hid Mick, she was sure he was gone. Spectators could only hold their breath as they waited for him to emerge. Rick's mom told ABC Gold Coast:

"I just stood up and ran over to the television. I wanted to pull him out of the television, because I was so scared. I just thought that when that wave came he was gone. I was so grateful to the universe that he didn't have a leg missing or anything."

How did he survive?

This brave surfer was not going to let a shark ruin his day. Badass Mick then just straight up punched the shark with all his might in its back.

Could Mick be wrestling the shark here?!

"I just saw the fin, I didn’t see the teeth. I was waiting for the teeth to come at me as I was swimming ... I punched it in the back."

I have heard about a cat having nine lives, but for a human to survive a shark attack unscathed is totally astonishing and a miracle, too.

Rescue boats then swiftly sped across to help:


Mick's mom believes that his brother was watching over him.

Heartbreakingly, Mick's brother Sean died in a car crash 17 years ago and his mom believes that Sean was looking out for Mick.

"We always say in our family ‘we never give up and we never give in. And he didn’t. He’s such a fighter."

Mick was overcome with emotion as he made his first steps on dry land:


The experience was exceptionally surreal for Mick, who said:

"I just can’t believe it. I’m just tripping ... To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked."

His friend and surfing world champion Kelly Slater posted this emotional photo, with the caption:

"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."

That is definitely a scar that would win at any show and tell!

Thankfully, the safety of the other surfers was taken into consideration and The World Surf League cancelled the rest of the competition. In a new surprising turn of events, finalists Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson decided to both take second place. The two surfers amazingly then decided to split the money they would have received for first prize. What champs!

Source: The Guardian.


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