The Press

Fanning flees ‘beast’ shark


"Look at that thing, that thing is a beast - at least they saw this one." Mick Fanning

Surfers Mick Fanning and Gabriel Medina were plucked from the water at South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay because of a large shark nearby.

The incident yesterday was the second in two days at the notorious break on South Africa’s East Cape.

Fanning, who was attacked two years ago by a great white in the event final, was surfing against Medina when their quarterfin­al was put on hold.

The large shark was moving towards the surfers from around 700m away when they were taken to safety.

Fanning, who would eventually lose the heat saw the footage for the first time when he was recapping the day’s action and was taken aback by the size of the large shark. ‘‘That is huge,’’ Fanning exclaimed.

‘‘Look at that thing, that thing is a beast - at least they saw this one. I am glad they got us out of the water.

‘‘Those things are just submarines, however long they are, the roundness of them as well ... they are big, big beasts.’’

Fanning, who famously punched the shark that attacked him in 2015, said he did not panic, but also saw the amusing side of lightning very nearly striking twice once he was on a boat.

The incident came a day after a mako was spotted 90m from Filipe Toledo, while Julian Wilson - who was surfing against Fanning during the 2015 attack was in the water.

Fanning’s bid to win a fourth J-Bay Open came to an end at the hands of 2014 world champion Medina, who enjoyed one long tube ride and a series of big sweeping turns and floats to lay down an 8.5 and 8.9 as Fanning struggled to pick up good scores.

Morais ripped a series of huge turns to get his first perfect 10 on tour, but admitted that after seeing the shark he had reservatio­ns about getting in the water.

‘‘I’ll be honest, I hate sharks. We don’t have to worry about that in Portugal so I am not used to that,’’ he said.

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