Update 3:25 p.m. EDT: The remainder of the surfing competition was called off after the shark attacks, CNN reports.
It was an almost surreal (and tragic) scene in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, Sunday as professional surfer Mick Fanning fought off a shark to swim to safety in the midst of an international surfing competition on live television. The shark attacked Fanning during a broadcast of the J-Bay Open as he was preparing to catch a wave.
In the video posted below, viewers are able to see a grey dorsal fin approach Fanning and then disappear underwater. Fanning then begins furiously kicking his legs in the water. He disappeared momentarily under the water and the camera quickly panned to a wide shot as two men on water scooters sped over to help pull him from the water.
Viewers heard World Surf League announcer Joel Turpel, a fellow Australian, exclaim "Holy s---!" as Fanning disappeared from view. Take a look at the full scene unfold in the video from YouTube below.
Further footage showed that as rescuers pulled Fanning out of the water, his leash -- the cord that connects a surfer's foot to his board -- had been ripped off, leaving his board floating in the open water. Fanning was in a head-to-head match-up with Julian Wilson, who was also in the water when the attack happened. Both Fanning and Wilson were picked up on water scooters and brought to safety. Both men were able to escape without significant injury.
Fanning, 34, nicknamed "White Lightning" hails from Penrith, Australia, according to his official biography from World Champions of Surfing. TheInertia.com reported drone footage from above the water spotted the shark that attacked Fanning as well as another one lurking around the surf spot.
Sunday is the final day of the J-Bay Open, which this year features 36 competitors from nine countries. The faceoff between Fanning and Wilson was the final, according to the World Surf League website. Wilson scored 6.67 points on the first wave and no score on the second while Fanning did not record an official score. According to the site, the final is still in progress.