For most surfers, there’s no greater fear out in the water than a heated confrontation with a shark.
Unfortunately, sometimes sharks go through a case of mistaken identity with surfers. A surfboard can resemble a seal, which is dinner for the shark.
Old Terrifying Great White Shark Footage Emerges
Australian surfer Mick Fanning was competing in the televised J-Bay Open on the east coast of South Africa when a nightmare became a reality in 2015. Since he was in the middle of a competition, it was all caught on camera.
You can see as Fanning is out in the middle of the water resting on his board. Suddenly, you can see the heart-dropping moment in which the great white shark’s massive fin comes into the view. It quickly approaches Fanning from behind, unknowingly to the surfer.
He sees something moving under his board and his instinct immediately kicks in. He quickly kicks his legs as hard as he can at the shark and then gets onto his board. For a moment, Fanning disappears under the surface of the water and all the bystanders look on in absolute fear.
There is splashing and chaos coming from that spot in the water, but Fanning manages to resurface. During this entire fiasco, the other surfer in the water immediately started paddling toward him when he saw something was wrong. Fanning was able to make it out on his own, however. He managed to swim to a jet ski that is there to rescue him during the shark attack. Somehow, Mick Fanning left that water completely uninjured. It was a stroke of absolute luck.
He lived to explain the whole ordeal.
“I was just about to start moving and then I felt something grab [and] get stuck in my leg rope. And I instantly just jumped away and it just kept coming at my board. I started kicking and screaming… I was waiting for the teeth to come at me as I was swimming,” Fanning said, according to The Sun.
Luckily, the teeth never came. Mick Fanning is a three-time world champion surfer. After this experience, however, he was ready to permanently throw in the beach towel. “Man, I’m happy to not compete ever again. Like seriously, to walk away from that. I’m just so stoked,” he said. The two surfers had a shared victory and split the prize money.
Reason the Footage is Around Again
This horrific incident was from six years ago, however, it’s become even more relevant.
There has been a higher number of shark-driven deaths in Australia specifically recently. According to The New York Times, there were eight deaths linked to shark attacks in 2020. This is the most attacks in one year since 1929.
One of the most horrifying recent attacks was from earlier this month. A man was mauled by a shark off Emerald Beach in Coffs Harbour. Other people at the beach watched as his arm was ripped off and he screamed “help me.”
Unfortunately, paramedics were not able to save him.