Watch: World champion surfer attacked by shark, unharmed

The Detroit News
Mick Fanning was attacked off the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Mick Fanning had a surfing experience Sunday that he won't soon forget.

Fanning, 34, a three-time world champion, was attacked by a shark during the J-Bay Open at Jeffreys Bay, on the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

He escaped unharmed.

Fanning was a finalist in the World Surf League event with fellow Australian Julian Wilson. The event was cancelled after the attack.

In a video of the attack, Fanning is paddling on his board when the shark attacks from Fanning's right. Fanning is eventually knocked off the board and rescued uninjured.

"I was just sitting there and I felt something just get stuck in my leg rope, and I was kicking trying to get it away," Fanning told Fox Sports.

Fanning said he punched the shark in the back.

The World Surf League issued this statement:

"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 safety of our athletes is a priority for the WSL and, after discussions with both Finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of competition at the J-Bay Open. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team."

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