The shark approaches Fanning with its dorsal fin out of the water then knocks him off his board. He manages to fight it off, punching it in the back.
Fanning, the world number four and a triple world champion, said he punched and kicked out at the shark as it broke his leg rope. The 34-year-old returned to the shore unharmed with the help of organisers, with the competition halted.
Quick actions by rescuers may have saved Fanning's life.
Fellow competitor and friend Julian Wilson has been commended for his bravery when he paddling towards Fanning to render assistance.
|PHOTO: Chilling moment ... Mick Fanning holds his head in his hands in disbelief after the shark attack as Julian Wilson (R) looks on. (WSL: Kirstin Scholtz)
- Mick Fanning escapes shark attack in J-Bay Open surf event in South Africa - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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- Mick Fanning says shark attack was 'the scariest thing I have been through'