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Surfer's quick thinking saves him after getting attacked by great white shark on live TV

Surfer's quick thinking saves him after getting attacked by great white shark on live TV

Surfer Mick Fanning admitted that 'you never think it’s going to happen to you'

If the thought of getting attacked by a shark isn't frightening enough, try actually getting attacked by one.

World champion surfer Mike Fanning says he still gets 'flashbacks' from when he was attacked by a great white live on TV.

Back in July 2015, the three-metre long shark came at the three-time champion while he was competing at Jeffreys in South Africa.

If Fanning did not think quickly his life would have been over. Take a look below:

During the incident, he was pulled underwater for a long nine seconds.

But rather than accepting his fate, the Australian managed to fend off the shark just before it took his life.

“I felt like I was peaking at the right time, [my] body was feeling good and yeah I was really excited,” he told 60 Minutes in 2018.

"The shark just came. My board was sideways and the shark just came like that. It was, like, right there. The main dorsal fin was right there, and I could see the side fin and I could see where it goes from grey to white.

“That was when I was, like, ‘oh yeah, this is… this is really, really bad'.”

He thought it was over. (60 minutes)
He thought it was over. (60 minutes)

Fanning somehow managed to fight off the shark by punching it and get himself back to safety.

In an interview in 2020 he said he feels ‘extremely lucky’ that things turned out the way they did.

Speaking about the incident to 7NEWS, Fanning said: “As a surfer you have [sharks] in the back of your mind but you never think it’s going to happen to you.

“I consider myself extremely lucky.

“I still have flashbacks of coming up [for air] and I hear the splashes.”

Incredibly, Fanning’s brush with death didn’t put him off surfing and just one week after the attack he was already back at sea.

The surfer says he still has ‘flashbacks’. (60 Minutes)
The surfer says he still has ‘flashbacks’. (60 Minutes)

In the end, he came runner-up in the competition he was taking part in at the time of the attack, which is pretty bloody impressive all things considered.

Fanning even agreed to come face-to-face with sharks for National Geographic documentary Save This Shark where he went cage diving.

He explained at the time: “I didn’t know how I’d react once I saw the shark … but I needed to heal myself and see if I’ve gotten over the nightmares I’ve had.

“The anxiety and nerves come back up and I personally didn’t know how it was going to go, but they’re such incredible creatures.

“It dawned on me how important sharks are, they rule the ocean for a reason. I’m so glad I’ve done it. It also answered a lot of questions.”

Featured Image Credit: 60 Minutes

Topics: Australia, Shark Attacks, Sharks