By Matt Burgess
SYDNEY Authentic Ali Marpet Jersey , July 21 (Xinhua) -- Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning said he is now dealing with the mental trauma, two days after being attacked by a shark competing at a professional surfing event in South Africa at the weekend.
Fanning, 34, from Australia's Gold Coast, fought off what is believed a three-to-four meter great white shark on live television before being rescued by safety crews at the final of the Jeffrey's Bay World Surf League contest in South Africa at the weekend.
"It was fight or flight really," Fanning told an awaiting press conference in Sydney after making the long journey home to Australia from South Africa on Tuesday.
"I'm doing okay... it was so close," Fanning said. "I'm doing okay though. I haven't got a scratch on me, just sort of more of an emotional, mental sort of trauma right now.
"It will probably take a couple 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 heaped praise on his friend and fellow competitor, Julian Wilson, who was in the water at the same time, thanking him for being a warrior and coming to his aid.
"He showed his true integrity. He put himself in harm's way to look after me," Fanning said. "
"You're so thankful to have people like that. That will look out for you. I don't know if I would have made it if the boats or Jules didn't come then."
Fanning -- who Wilson, 26, describes as his idol having watched Fanning surf while growing up -- had been mentoring Wilson throughout the entire surfing contest, all the way until they met each other in the event's final.
Earlier on Tuesday, Fanning's mother Elizabeth Osborne also thanked Wilson for being a hero and coming to her son's aid.
"She's pretty emotional, she always will be like that but that' s why we love her," Fanning said describing his mother -- who watched the events unfold on television on Sunday night -- being emotional shaken while speaking over the phone after the event.
Wilson dismissed the idea of him being given a hero award, as earlier proposed by Queensland's government.
"I don't think it's about me at all," Wilson said. "It's about that moment."
"If the award was going to be given out, they all go to ( Fanning)... He turned around on the thing and gave it a'what-for', " Wilson said.
It was Fanning's sixth sense that initially alerted him to the shark while in deep concentration for the competition's final.
"I was ready, I was calm, the last thing on my mind as a shark, "Fanning said light-heartedly. "I was sitting there and I didn't know if I was going to move down the point closer to (Wilson)... and then all of a sudden I just felt a presence or something behind me. That's when I sort of jumped on my board."
Fanning said he felt "so insignificant" against the shark and that after losing his surfboard in the water, he expected to lose a limb.
Fanning said he initially started swimming towards the beach, however, turned and readied himself so as not to be defenseless in case the it came back for a second attack.
"I turned around on my back and I was just waiting for it, had my fist cocked ready to see what was going to go," Fanning said. " Luckily it didn't come and by that stage the (rescuers) had come.I 'm hear to tell the story now."
And Fanning was philosophical about the shark attack, describing his survival as a miracle with someone looking down upon him.
Fanning dedicated his first of three surfing world championship titles, in 2009, to his brother who was tragically killed in a car accident when Fanning was 16 years old.
"Thanks for not eating me. We are in their domain. It's like if you go to a lion's cage, and you jump in, one day, your number will come up. I guess I am lucky it wasn't my time," Fanning said.
While Fanning, who has been surfing for 30 years, plans to surf again though he's not sure when.
"Surfing has given me so much. It's something I do to clear my mind, it's something that gives me peace," Fanning said.
Fanning intends to return to contest the 2016 Jeffreys Bay professional surfing contest, one of his three top waves of on the planet.
"I have to go back. It will be hard. But you have to face these things front on. In the end, I have to deal with it when I come to it," Fanning said.
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