A three-time world champion surfer had a close encounter with a shark during a competition in South Africa on Sunday — and the dramatic ordeal was captured on live television.
Australian surfer Mick Fanning fended off an attack and escaped the tense confrontation unscathed. But the scare led organizers of the J-Bay Open in Eastern Cape to cancel the finals.
In terrifying footage broadcast on live TV, Fanning can be seen fighting to stay on his board as the shark thrashes violently in the water. The World Surf League initially said two sharks were involved but later revised the number.
Rescuers quickly responded to the scene. Fanning and another finalist, Julian Wilson, were brought to shore by boat, according to the World Surf League.
"I punched it in the back," Fanning told a reporter after the scary incident, which happened at about 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET).