Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark during the J-Bay Open, managing to punch and kick it away

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]rofessional surfers have reacted with utter shock and disbelief after Australian Mick Fanning was attacked by a large shark during the live broadcast of a world championship event in South Africa. Kelly Slater, from the US, the 11-time world surfing champion, also consoled Fanning after the incident in the final of the J-Bay Open, drawing him into an embrace. “Now I’ve seen it all,” Slater said following the attack. “I was coming up the beach and I saw all the boats and skis go straight to the line-up. “I knew there was only one possible reason that would ever happen in a contest and that’s if someone got attacked by a shark. “I ran up the beach trying to get some information. I’m halfway between crying and laughing because he [Fanning] got so lucky. I’m lost for words to be honest. We almost just watched our friend get eaten by a shark and I’m just blown away that there’s no damage at all.”

Mick Fanning 4 x J-Bay Open Champion. Mick Fanning returns to J-Bay, South Africa to “right the wrongs” and take his fourth J-Bay Open event win. Mick Fanning – you are the King of the Jungle. “I’m stoked that I got to come back and right the wrongs that happened last year. I’ve done that now so I can move on” – Fanning.

Mick Fanning, three-time WSL Champion, has returned to South Africa to contest the J’Bay Open. Fanning became the subject of international headlines during last year’s event where he was attacked on live television by what is believed to be a 12-to-15-foot Great White Shark.

Just one hour after Mick Fanning fought off a terrifying shark attack, Australian surfing veteran Derek Hynd was back in the water at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. The infamous footage of the harrowing shark attack was just beginning to reverberate around the world when Hynd, 58, and a handful of locals decided to go for a paddle. “I waited an hour,” an unperturbed Hynd said in a video interview after he was asked whether he may have been too quick to get back in the the water. The former top-10 surfer and surfing journalist, who is blind in his right eye, said he had watched Fanning fend off the shark in a video online, and had seen a still of the shark’s fin. “That was a big shark,” Hynd said.