By Justin Worland
July 19, 2015

Australian surfing champion Mick Fanning escaped uninjured after being attacked by a shark Sunday during a competition in South Africa.

Fanning, who escaped the incident uninjured, was knocked off of his surfboard at the beginning of his heat when he realized a shark was attacking. Following expert guidance, Fanning punched the shark to scare it off.

“It kept coming at my board and I was kicking and screaming. I just saw fins. I didn’t see teeth,” he said, according to an Australian news outlet. “I was waiting for the teeth to come at me. I punched it in the back.”

Rescue crews responded immediately and helped Fanning escape unscathed. The incident, captured on live television, led organizers to cancel what remained of the event.

Shark attacks are extremely rare with fewer than 100 around the world each year.

Read More: Your Risk for Shark Attack Is Lower Now Than 50 Years Ago

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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