Mick Fanning comforts surfers who saw fatal shark attack
SURFING hero and shark attack survivor Mick Fanning has reached out to support a young boardrider badly shaken by the fatal mauling of Nick Slater on the Gold Coast.
Fanning, who famously fought off a great white in South Africa in 2015, made contact overnight with a local teenager who was part of a group of young grommets who were surfing just metres from where Mr Slater was taken by a great white shark at Greenmount Beach.
Fanning has become an advocate for sharks, this year starring in a National Geographic documentary called Save This Shark.
It is understood Fanning called the young surfer and offered 'some sage advice'.
"The kid was freaked out by what had happened," said a surfing insider.
"So Mick reached out to him and had a chat and told him to take it easy and that he doesn't have to rush straight back out in the water if he doesn't want to.
"He told him it's perfectly okay to be freaked out by something like that and to take it at your own pace."
One of the earliest surfers out at Snapper was former world champion Mark Occhilupo, who wasn't afraid to drift up and take on the break at Greenmount where Mr Slater was attacked.
Occhilupo told ABC news he was in the water shortly before the attack.
"I heard the lifeguards calling everyone in," he said.
"I thought it just was a shark sighting and then 10 minutes later I turned the news on and saw that it was an attack.
"I saw the footage too. It looked like it was a big shark.
"I see the odd shark sometimes at the top of Snapper, but never right inside the bay where is happened. Very rare. One of those once-in-a-blue-moon things - it is really sad."
Originally published as Mick Fanning comforts surfers who saw fatal attack