WATCH: Surfer Mick Fanning Survives Shark Attack in South Africa
Image via YouTube
If Shark Week and “Jaws” turning 40 weren’t enough to remind you about the dangers of simply enjoying a day at the beach, a new horror emerged over the weekend, featuring a shark that wanted to see what surfer Mick Fanning tasted like.
The New York Times reports on one of the more harrowing sports moments in recent memory, which concluded, thankfully, with Fanning safely leaving the area of a shark attack with his appendages intact.
The beautiful waters just off Jeffreys Bay in South Africa were again home to this year’s J-Bay Open.
The surfing competition mandates surfers wade in the water until the perfect set or their turn to drop in comes up. Such was the case for Fanning when a shark decided to make a cameo into the day’s festivities:
The following video is the original footage that features NSFW language from one of the commentators the moment they realize Fanning was nearly an oceanic snack:
When someone yells “Shark!” at the beach, you wrap up the picnic, fire up the car and get the heck out of Dodge.
In this case, Dodge was the water at J-Bay and the picnic very nearly had Fanning on the menu.
According to the NY Times, the call was rather easy for the surfing organization: “The World Surf League canceled the competition, the J-Bay Open, and said in a statement that Fanning and Wilson, both finalists, had agreed to split the prize money and each receive second-place points.”
Now before you swear off swimming forever and cancel that beachside vacation, World Surf League Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel offered the following sentiment as to how rare an attack such as this might be: “This is the first time in professional surfing history…I never experienced and nobody ever experienced a situation like that, where a surfer is attacked by two sharks right when a final starts.”
Fanning managed to skirt disaster and leave the water with some damage to his board and one devastated leash, which serves as a reminder at just how close he came to being the ultimate in surfing sacrifices.
Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Both surfers left the water with a victory in competition and in general aquatic livelihood.
We can’t be certain, but Fanning may be content to stay dry for the foreseeable future.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions