Australian surfing superstar Mick Fanning has escaped injury after being attacked by a great white shark during the J-Bay Open final in South Africa in what surely ranks as one of the most extraordinary moments caught on live sporting television.
While waiting for a set of waves, a fin appeared behind Fanning, who then came off his board and thrashed around frantically to get away from the ocean predator.
Support crew swiftly arrived on jet skis to pick up Fanning, who miraculously escaped with only a chewed leg-rope.
Check out the incredible footage and Fanning’s interview moments afterwards:
The final between Fanning and countryman Julian Wilson was eventually cancelled, with the Aussie duo sharing the points and prize-money.
Fanning and Wilson both spoke to World Surf League reporters once safely ashore, clearly still rattled by the sensational incident. Wilson broke down when asked for his account of what happened.
The Commentary Box Sports team echoes Julian’s sentiments of relief that Mick emerged unscathed, and wishes both all the best in getting back out in the water and on their boards in the near future.
If there’s a positive to draw from the harrowing experience the duo endured, it’s the mateship and Aussie camaraderie they displayed – truly inspiring.