Surfer Mick Fanning Says 'It's a Miracle' He Survived Shark Attack Caught on Live TV

Mick Fanning Says 'It's a Miracle' He Survived Shark Attack Caught on Live TV
Mick Fanning
Newspix/REX Shutterstock

07/21/2015 AT 10:05 AM EDT

Mick Fanning, who survived a terrifying shark attack caught on live TV during a surfing competition in South Africa this weekend, arrived back home in Australia Tuesday – still clearly shaken from his brush with death.

"To walk away from a shark attack with not a scratch on you, it's a miracle, really," the three-time world champion, 34, said at a press conference, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

"I'm doing okay, I haven't got a scratch on me," he said. "It's more of an emotional, mental trauma right now. It'll probably take a couple of weeks or months to get over. I don't know."

Fanning said he was mostly looking forward to giving his mom a big hug.



He also rejected the suggestion that he was a hero in any way, saying he was acting on instinct: "I don't know whether I punched it hard or just a couple of baby punches, but I just went into fight or flight, really."



A fellow Australian surfer, Julian Wilson, was in the water not far from Fanning, and described the horror of seeing the attack happen.

"At first I was frozen," he said. "Mick was looking at me, a big old fish popped up behind him. It was a lot bigger than him. I saw him start to get kind of manhandled by the shark, and I was kind of freaking out.

"He was kind of getting wrestled off his board, and then a wave came between us and I started paddling for him, just fearing for his life."

RELATED VIDEO: 16-year Old Hunter Treschl Speaks Out After Shark Attack That Took His Arm


Shortly after the attack, Fanning described it in some detail. "I was just about to start moving and then I felt something grab [and] get stuck in my leg rope," he said. "And I instantly just jumped away and it just kept coming at my board. I just started kicking and screaming."

Fanning was competing against Wilson in the final of the J-Bay Open. The World Surf League called off the tournament after the attack, and Fanning and Wilson will split the prize money.
blog comments powered by Disqus

From Our Partners