Caught On Tape: Pro Surfer Attacked By Shark On Live TV

If you thought your day was bad, remember: it can always get worse as pro surfer Mick Fanning found out earlier today when during the final of the World Surfing League's J-Bay Open in South Africa, he was attacked by a shark.

Perhaps for the first time ever, the stunning encounter was captured on live TV. But most amazing, after Fanning felt the shark attack, he "punched" the shark in the back, which then promptly lost interest and Fanning got away completely unscathed.

From CBS:

"I felt something grab, got stuck in my leg rope, and I instantly just jumped," a still-shocked Fanning said immediately after the incident. "It just kept coming at my board."


The Australian three-time world champion was lifted out of the water by a rescue jet ski mere seconds after the attack, which happened when he was paddling out to catch his first wave.


"I just saw fins, I didn't see teeth," he said. "I was waiting for the teeth to come at me. I punched it in the back."


The WSL issued an official statement following the incident: "We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick's composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable -- they are truly world class at what they do."


The competition was canceled following the attack.

The full dramatic encounter shown here.