I’ll surf again, says Fanning:
Fanning vows to confront his fear after cheating shark attack death
SURFING world champion Mick Fanning says he’ll get back in the water once he deals with the emotional trauma of his terrifying shark attack in South Africa.
He returned to Australia yesterday, still emotional from the attack during the final of the World Surf League event at Jeffreys Bay on Sunday.
The 34- year- old from the Gold Coast punched the shark on live television before rescue crews pulled him and compatriot Julian Wilson to safety.
“It was so close. I’m doing OK, though. I haven’t got a scratch on me. Just sort of more of an emotional, mental sort of trauma right now,” he told reporters after touching down yesterday afternoon.
While he plans to surf again soon, he’s not sure when.
“Yeah, I’m sure I’ll go surfing,” he said.
“Surfing has given me so much. It’s something I do to clear my mind, it’s something that gives me peace. “I’m sure I’ll go back out.” And he says he’ll definitely surf again at Jeffreys Bay, which he rates as one his favourite places in the world.
“I have to go back. It will be hard. But you have to face these things front on. In the end, I have to deal with it when I come to it,” he said.
But he’s still dealing with the emotions of his experience.
“It will probably take — I don’t know — a couple of weeks, months ... I don’t know how long it’s going to take,” Fanning said. “But I’m just lucky I’ve got really good people around me and great friends to just pick me up.
“When it went down, it happened so fast. When you are in that moment, it seems like it goes forever. The thing for me was seeing the sight of it, that was the scariest. It was just like ‘ OK are we ready for this?’ ”
Reserving his greatest praise for his mate “Jules”, the man who risked his own life to save his childhood hero, Fanning said: “Julian is the superhero,” adding he supported Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk’s suggestion of a bravery award for the Sunshine Coast surfer.
Wilson, who was competing against his idol in the final, paddled toward Fanning to help him as the shark attacked and said he would be back in the su surf when he g got home.
Mick Fanning yesterday ( main); being attacked by the shark ( above); and Julian Wilson ( left) who paddled to help Fanning.