Surfer who beat shark will "surf again for sure"


Mick Fanning is lucky to be alive after walking away from a shark attack in South Africa on Sunday.

The now much calmer pro surfer reflected on his experience and told CBS News correspondent Debora Patta he will be back catching the swell again at the Tahiti leg of the World Surfing Championships in just under a month.

"I'll surf again for sure. You know, surfing's given me so much," Fanning said. "How many times do you cross this stretch? How many times do you drive your car and don't have an accident. That's all it was. That was my opportunity and I got lucky."

At the finals of the World Surfing League's J-Bay Open on Sunday, a life-or-death battle played out on the South African beach, and it was all captured live on TV.

Defending world-champion Fanning learned the hard way that a surfers' paradise can, in the blink of an eye, become anything but.

As the Australian waited on his surfboard for another shot at the title, he sensed a presence behind him.

"And then, all of a sudden, I started getting pulled underwater. And then the thing came up. And I was on my board and it was right there. I saw the whole thing just thrashing around, but I was getting dragged under by my leg rope," Fanning said.

Fanning, hidden from the cameras by a wave, managed to punch the shark on the back, a move that bought him a little time.

"I felt like it was dragging me underwater. And all of a sudden my leg rope broke and I was just like 'all right'. And I just started swimming. I was swimming and screaming," Fanning said.

The three-time world champion shouted to his fellow finalist Julian Wilson to get to safety, but instead his friend and rival swam toward him.

"I saw the whole thing. I saw when he got knocked off his board, and a little wave popped up, and I thought, 'Oh no, he's gone. He's gone under, and I felt couldn't get there quick enough," Wilson said.

Within minutes the two pro surfers were surrounded by rescuers on jet skis and whisked to safety.

The drama has not deterred local die-hards who were back out surfing on Monday.

This is the first time in the history of professional surfing that a competitor was attacked. The event final was cancelled and the points and winning money split equally between Fanning and Julian Wilson.