Local surfers on edge after Mick Fanning's shark attack

THE shark attack on former Le-Ba surfer turned world champion Mick Fanning has sent ripples of shock through the Northern Rivers surfing community.

Skullcandy Oz Grom event director and Le-Ba Boardriders secretary Tony O'Brien said there had been nothing like it in pro surfing before.

"The shocking thing about it was that it was live on TV," he said.

"We were all watching. It was some heart-stopping moments there."

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Mr O'Brien said as an ex Le-Ba surfer, Fanning would have known about the shark attacks in Ballina and Lennox Head just weeks before.

"I think the whole surfing community was watching what was happening for us," he said.

"He is a tough cookie, Mick; it's pretty hard to rattle him, but he was pretty shaken up by the whole ordeal.

"Mick said this morning that he'd be glad never to surf in a contest again but that was in the post-shock of the incident.

"I have no doubt Mick will line up for Tahiti in a couple of weeks ... (or) maybe next year."

Byron Bay Boardriders vice president Neil Cameron said Fanning's attack had affected a lot of local surfers.

"We've all been impacted by it," he said. "There wouldn't be a surfer around the world who's not on edge with that. We're just so grateful that he's alive."

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Mr Cameron said he would like to see measures introduced to reduce the chances of shark attacks locally.

"I would like to see something be brought into place by either councils or State Government to try and at least regulate the amount of sharks that are coming through," he said.

"No one wants to see their brother or sister or relative or anyone maimed for life or killed by a shark."

Mr O'Brien said the World Surf League could takes cues from the organisers of the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open and how they handled shark attacks and sightings prior to and during the junior Lennox Head competition, particular regarding aerial surveillance.


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