In the waves of South Africa’s famed Jeffreys Bay, the young Sunshine Coast surfer was watching his mentor, hero and friend, Mick Fanning, being monstered by an enormous shark on Sunday.
Cape Town – The Kouga local munisipality, home to the surfer town of Jeffreys Bay, is now considering employing shark spotters and using drones to prevent future shark attacks.
Knocked off his board by an attacking shark, a surfer punched the creature during the televised finals of a world surfing competition in South Africa before escaping.
The Kouga local municipality is studying methods pioneered in Cape Town to try and prevent further incidents like this.
“At first I was just frozen”, the 26-year-old told media on Tuesday, safely back in Sydney, before he started paddling desperately in the direction of his idol Fanning in the hopes of rescuing him.
Video: Shark Attack: “It Was So Close”.
Fanning returned to Australia on Tuesday, speaking of his “miracle” tale of survival.
“Surfing has given myself and my family so much”.
The next World Surf League event is in Tahiti from August 14, but it’s not yet known whether Fanning will compete.
Fanning said he could sense the shark looming behind him, and turned to see it just as contact was made. “I don’t know why it didn’t bite”.
“I was just thinking that by the time I got there I would be swimming down to find him”.
“I was getting dragged under by my leg wrap, and then I felt like it kicked me off, but it was still there, and I was still attached to my board”.
“Once I realised they were going in, it was time for me to swim in”. “I was just trying to manoeuvre my way around it”, The Courier Mail quoted the world champion as saying. “He was so courageous… like a warrior”.