Photo: Jimmicane

Kelly Slater Hugs Mick Fanning

Earlier this morning, the day after the single craziest occurrence in the history of competitive surfing, Kelly Slater posted the above photo on Facebook, accompanied by the following heartfelt message. Scroll down for his interview with Ronnie Blakey in the immediate aftermath yesterday afternoon.

"Glad to know this guy and even happier that he swam/walked away unscathed. The only mark on him is a tiny scratch (probably from hitting the shark) on his left hand knuckle. I got an email from a friend tonight who said he clearly saw a shark figure in a wave during the quarterfinals from a drone shot. There were multiple water photogs (including @jimmicane who shot this photo) swimming all day. 

I believe good things come to good people and although you can't say this was 'good', the outcome was amazing. Mick Fanning's instincts kicked into high gear and his scramble to face the shark and keep the board between them may have saved him. The scariest moment was when he turned around to face where the shark would be coming from after swimming 20 meters towards shore. I can't even imagine the vulnerability he must've felt.

Great job by the contest announcers, water safety for getting right on it, Julian Wilson for paddling to help a friend out and basically everyone there to support. Hey, you didn't surf half bad this week either!

#GiveHimTheTrophy"