Top surfer attacked by shark 2 years ago has a close call in the exact same spot

They say lightning never strikes twice, but it was certainly a close call for Australian surfer Mick Fanning.

The World Surf League at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa was temporarily placed on hold Wednesday, when a 3 metre great white shark swam near Fanning and Gabriel Medina during the quarter-finals of the competition.

Both surfers were plucked out of the water by safety teams, as staff tracked the shark until it left the area.

It's the same place Fanning famously came face-to-face with another great white shark on the same day back in 2015.

The Australian managed to escape unscathed after punching the shark that attacked him, and said at the time he was happy to "not even compete ever again" after the incident.

Fanning has since been back in competition, and only saw the shark after watching footage of it following his heat, according to ABC News.

"That is huge," Fanning told the news outlet. "Look at that thing, that thing is a beast, at least they saw this one. I am glad they got us out of the water."

After discussions between organisers and the athletes, the competition resumed. Fanning went on to lose the quarter final to Medina, with the Brazilian leading 17.40 points to the Australian's 11.33 score.

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