(viral video) Shark Attacks Mick Fanning at J-Bay Open in the Final
It is July 19, the final heat of the 2015 J-Bay Open between Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson when it all begins. The fin of a great white shark appears right behind Mick.
Julian had caught the first wave of the heat and Mick is just getting ready to paddle into his first wave when the chaos erupts. Suddenly, the water sprays behind him and the spectators clearly identify a large fin. “Holy shit” is the comment of the reporter filled with fear and panic in his voice.
Mick tries to warn his opponent Julian as he explains moments after the attack:
“I’m tripping out right now. I just saw the footage of the attack. I was just waiting for my opportunity in the heat and I knew Julian was down the point. I was just about to start paddling and I had this instinct that something was behind me. And then the shark came up from behind me and attacked. I got pulled under water and was being dragged under by my leg rope. Then it kicked me off and I punched it a couple of times. Then my leg rope broke and I was just swimming. I was yelling at Julian to get away but he was coming towards me to help. What a legend. Then I was just readying myself for it to come at me again so I turned around, hoping I could at least see it coming. And then before I knew it the boat was there and I was safe.”
All Julian could think about is that he needs to rush in to help.
“I couldn’t believe what I was watching. I saw the thing pop up behind him,” he said through broken tears. “I saw him wrestling it and saw him get knocked off his board. Then a little wave popped up and I couldn’t see him. I thought he’d gone under…it felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough. I literally thought that I wasn’t gonna get there in time. I thought ‘I’ve got a board. If I can get there in time I’ve got a weapon and I could stab the shark.’ Then he started screaming at me, we both started screaming, and then the boats came in [to help]…it’s all too much really.”
Luckily Mick and Julian survive this shark attack completely unharmed but they are still under shock. Kieren Perrow, the WSL Commissioner, cancels the final of the championship: “Everyone is rattled and shaken up,” he said. “We’ll make a final decision soon. No heats will be held today. Fanning and Wilson will split the first-place points and price money.”
How do you get over such an life-threatening incident? If you give in to fear, your carrier as a professional surfer over. My friend from Cape Town surfed J-Bay last year encountering a shark. He went back onto his board the very next day.
Asking him how he does it he explained to me: “I have to control my thinking, I have to face my fear in order to control my fear. I have a lot of respect for waves and sharks, but I practice in my mind before I go into the water to see myself succeeding. I visualise riding the wave, finishing well and at the end of the day spending the evening with my lovely family.”
Maybe you have gone through a challenging or a dangerous situation yourself. You have lost your job , or you have been in an accident. You need to face your challenge as soon as possible or it will control you for the rest of your life. Close your eyes and in your mind see yourself going through the situation with ease. Feel the joy of your success and repeat this over and over again. Feel the positive emotion and you will be well prepared to overcome your fear.
The complete scene:
The slow motion of the attack: