As seen above, Australian surfer Mick Fanning fought to stay on his board as the sharks approached during the J-Bay Open in Eastern Cap. Organizers of the competition made the decision to cancel the event after the attack.
Rescuers quickly responded to the scene. Fanning and another finalist, Julian Wilson, were brought to shore by boat, according to the World Surf League.
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"I punched it in the back," Fanning told a reporter after the incident, which happened at about 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET). He also added: "I'm happy to not even compete ever again."
"I just want to let all my family and friends know, I'm okay," Fanning said. "I'm just tripping out."