Sports / Stars

Aussie surfer vows to surf again after shark attack

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-21 15:06

Aussie surfer vows to surf again after shark attack

Mick Fanning of Australia speaks during a news conference in Sydney, Australia July 21, 2015, after he was attacked by a shark during the finals of the J-Bay Open on Sunday in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa.  [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA -- Australian surfer Mick Fanning has vowed to get back on the surfboard, telling a packed media conference intimate details of his harrowing brush with a great white shark that could have easily taken his life.

Talking to the press outside Sydney Airport on Tuesday, Fanning and fellow Australian competitor Julian Wilson described the attack, which occurred at the J-Bay Open in South Africa earlier this week.

Fanning said he was "doing okay" after having some time to collect his emotions and speak with family and loved ones.

He said he was lucky to be alive after the incident, but admitted he was still emotionally shaken as he told the media his recount of the attack.

"I haven't got a scratch on me. It's more of an emotional, mental trauma right now. It might take a couple of weeks, months to pick me up," he said.

"It just sort of came up and went for the tail of my board. I don't know why it didn't bite... my board is totally fine. It just kept coming back. I kept trying to put my board in between us."

"I tried to just position myself away from it. But it was right there. I don't know if I punched it hard or if they were baby punches, but I just went into fight or flight."

Fanning praised the competition's organizers and staff for the quick response and their way they took care of him after the incident, but saved his greatest admiration for competitor and good friend Julian Wilson who came to his aid.

"Julian showed his true integrity. He put himself in harm's way to get to me," he said, adding "You're so thankful to have people like that. That will look out for you. I don't know if I would have made it if the boats or Jules didn't come then."

Wilson said he wasn't sure if he could make it to Fanning in time, telling the press conference that he thought he might have to dive under the water to try and find Fanning, had the shark decided to bite.

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