SOUTH AFRICA — He didn’t cry, at least not till later. Instead, he fought.
The near-miraculous escape of champion surfer Mick Fanning, who found himself under attack by a shark on Sunday off the coast of South Africa, has been seen by people around the world.
The confrontation took place on live TV, and video showing the dark fin approaching Fanning from behind may have gone viral more quickly than any since the South Korean musician Psy rocketed to fame three years ago with his “Gagnam Style” video.
Fanning, who is 34, is a professional surfer from Australia who has won the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour three times. He was competing Sunday in the J-Bay Open, the sixth stop on the 2015 World Surf LeagueChampionship Tour, in Jeffrey’s Bay on South Africa’s eastern Cape.
He appeared to be chest-deep in water when a dark fin sliced through the water in his direction. Only he didn’t see it because his back was turned.
“All of a sudden, I sort of sensed something behind me,” he told CNN on Monday. “And then all of a sudden I just jumped on my board and I was, OK, something’s going on.”