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Surfing legend talks about fighting off shark in South Africa

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Surfer Mick Fanning spoke about his scary interaction and escape from a shark during the J-Bay Open competition in South Africa. (KGO-TV)

World champion Australian surfer Mick Fanning spoke about his scary shark encounter and how he fought it off for an excruciating 25 seconds.

The pro surfer was attacked by a great white on live TV, his mom watching from home, and was able to fight off the shark and get away without a scratch.

Fanning has was thankful to return home to Australia and spoke publicly about his scary ordeal.

He said, "Yeah, I'm doing OK. I haven't a scratch on me. It's more of an emotional, mental trauma right now."

Fanning posted this photo on Instagram and wrote, "So thankful to be able to have this hug with @julian_wilson this man came to my aid like a warrior!! It was by far the scariest thing I have ever been through and am still rattled. In our sport we always think about sharks and know we are in their domain. Many thanks to all the people that have reached out and sent their wishes. Jbay is an incredible place and I will go back one day. Thanks to the @wsl announcers and water patrol for being on top of us and the care they showed us and to all my friends on tour that were by my side. Love you all."

The three-time surf champion is shaken, but in good spirits.

He recounted the moment that terrifying moment saying, "I just felt something, I just the presence of something behind me and that's when I sort of jumped on my board and then it just sort of just came up and went for the tail of my board."

The 43-year-old is one of the superstars in the surfing world, reportedly earning close to $3 million a year.

He vows to return to surfing, but says he will be taking his time.

His parting message for that shark, Fanning said, "'Thanks for not eating me.' I'm just lucky it wasn't my time."

Related Topics:
sportsanimal newssharksshark attacku.s. & worldsurfinganimal attackanimalaustralia
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