Mick Fanning's mum: "I just wanted to grab him through TV'

MICK Fanning's mother "just wanted to grab him through the television screen" when she saw the surfer fighting off a shark, the surfer's Kiwi cousin, Mark Osborne, says.

The Tweed Heads surfer fought off a shark during the final round of a surfing contest in South Africa.

He described the moment he realised the shark was behind him as terrifying, saying: "I was waiting for the teeth to come at me".

Mr Osborne said he had contacted his aunt, Fanning's mother Elizabeth Osborne, who lives in Australia.

Mick Fanning of Australia (pictured) holds his head in his hands taking the gravity of the situation after being attacked by a shark during the JBay Open. Photo / Supplied
Mick Fanning of Australia (pictured) holds his head in his hands taking the gravity of the situation after being attacked by a shark during the JBay Open. Photo / Supplied

"Obviously it was a pretty close call, and we are all just very, very pleased that Mick has come through it alright," Mr Osborne told the New Zealand Herald.

It's pretty frightening stuff.

"My aunty said...she just wanted to grab him through the television screen because she is not there in South Africa."

Elizabeth Osborne described her relief after watching the event on live television.

"I just thought when that wave came that he'd gone, but then everything was alright and I was just so thankful and so proud of Mick and so grateful to the universe that he didn't have a leg missing or anything," she told the ABC.

Mr Osborne said he and his children normally watched his cousin's competitions, but time differences meant he didn't see the incident live. He had since watched videos of the attack.

"It was very hard to watch, I can tell you ... it certainly gave me chills ... just to see your cousin fight off a shark, and to see him come out and get on that jetski intact, was, I can tell you, a hell of a relief."

Mr Osborne said his cousin was a "strong person", but judging from the interviews he had seen was shaken from the shark attack.

"It is something that he will need to reflect on. But he is an incredibly strong, mentally strong person to achieve the things that he has," Mr Osborne said.

"Some years ago his brother passed away, and for him to come back from the trauma of that ... and his own injury where he ripped his hamstring off the bone, to come back and win a world title straight after that. He is incredibly strong and driven."


Young beef producers step up to the plate

Young beef producers step up to the plate

More than 260 people attended the YBP forum.

Planting seed for women to grow

Planting seed for women to grow

Opportunities for women to grow business.

Gallery: Cup-goers enjoy Roma's biggest day of racing

Gallery: Cup-goers enjoy Roma's biggest day of racing

Thousands of revellers descended on Bassett Park for the Roma Cup.

Local Partners