Mick Fanning survived a shark attack during the J-Bay Open on Jeffreys Bay in South Africa on Sunday. The professional surfer wasn’t alone in the water, however, during the time of the encounter. He might have even saved another life.

Longtime friend and competitor Julian Wilson witnessed the attack firsthand, and initially thought his friend had been killed. Before Fanning fended off the shark, though, he first signaled for Wilson to get out off the water.

“I saw he got knocked off his board,” Wilson recounted after the event, holding back tears. “A little wave popped up and I was like, he’s gone.”


Fanning punched the shark in the back of the head, and was able to elude potentially life-threatening injuries before being picked up by a rescue watercraft.

“I’m just happy he’s alive,” Wilson said.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Independent