Surfer Mick Fanning fended off a shark attack while competing at the J-Bay Open in South Africa on July 19. Fanning recently returned to the water—only to encounter yet another shark.
ABC News reported what Fanning had to say Monday in an interview on Good Morning America.
“I was lucky that I was just on the back of the Jet Ski and I was actually looking at another wave to catch,” Fanning said. “I was OK. I went in and regrouped.”
Fanning was shooting a special for 60 Minutes in Australia when he ventured back into the water at Hastings Point on the Tweed Coast. The CBS program showed the footage of Fanning’s latest run-in with a shark, but as was the case in the live-TV competition attack, he was physically unharmed.
The 34-year-old surfer also spoke of his decision to make a rather swift and courageous return to the water.
“I just didn’t want to leave it too long,” Fanning said. “I felt like if I left it too long I would start playing tricks with myself and having too many mind games go on, so I just really wanted to get it done pretty quickly.”
Fanning was paid $75,000 for the 60 Minutes segment. He donated the entire fee to Matt Lee, a bodyboarder who was attacked by a shark last month, according to SurfingLife.com.
Spinning his life-threatening situation into a positive has helped Fanning move forward from an episode that could well have been his last time on a surfboard.
Next up for Fanning is an event called the Billabong Pro Tahiti beginning on Aug. 14. The three-time World Surf League champion certainly doesn’t seem discouraged by his recent experiences and is set to continue his successful career.