Surfer Mick Fanning recovering from emotional wounds after shark attack

Australian surf champion Mick Fanning recounts his close encounter with a shark at a press conference in Sydney on July 21, 2015.
Australian surf champion Mick Fanning recounts his close encounter with a shark at a press conference in Sydney on July 21, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

The Australian surfer who narrowly escaped a shark attack during a competition on live television says he's shaken by the ordeal. 
 
34-year-old Mick Fanning said while he didn't have any physical injuries, he was emotionally traumatised. 

It is "sort of more of an emotional, mental, sort of trauma right now," said Fanning. "It'll probably take couple of weeks, months, I don't know how long it's going to take, but I'm just lucky I've got really good people around me, and great friends to pick me up." 

Fanning had been competing in the World Surfing League's J-Bay Open in South Africa when a shark knocked him off his board. The images of the amazing escape were broadcast live and quickly went viral on the internet. 

Fanning's mother Elizabeth Osborne was terrified as she watched the events unfold. 

"I just couldn't believe what I was seeing, really. I saw this sort of fin, big fin and then Mick sort of scrambling and sort of turning around and then he went down, and I realized then it must be a shark attack and I was absolutely terrified," she said.

"I thought we'd lost him."

The three-time world surfing champion was able to fight off the shark with a few punches before he was rescued. South Africa's waters are amongst the most shark-infested in the world.