Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning survived a brush with a great white shark during the J-Bay Open 2015 on Sunday, July 19. The entire event was captured live on camera during the event. The shark bit through Fanning’s board leash, but Fanning himself was unscathed.
A shocked crowd that included Fanning’s mother watched in horror as the fin came at the surfer. Rescue crews on jet skis quickly responded and retrieved Fanning from the water.
Mick Fanning is a three-time world champion and was on track to his fourth championship prior to this competition.
The competition was cancelled shortly after the attack. To add insult to near-injury, a rarely invoked rule eliminated Fanning’s chance at first place: “When an event is cancelled by “force majeure” (exceptional circumstances beyond anyone’s control), rule 18:02 (a) states that prize money will be paid to Surfers in the position they would receive if eliminated in next possible opportunity in the Event.” In other words, nobody won. Now, Fanning is 250 points behind the world leader in the series, Adriano de Souza. Fans have started tweeting #GiveHimtheTrophy in support of Fanning.