OPINION: Mick's shark attack a reminder of life's fragility
PRO surfer Mick Fanning's close encounter with a shark during a competition in South Africa has gone 'viral' around the world.
The Tweed Heads resident got tangled up with a very large shark and the footage of their struggle with one another was as mesmerising as it was scary.
The fragility of life has never been more apparent, but when it is played out in the sporting arena it can be especially poignant.
- Mick Fanning's shark scare: 'I saw the thing thrashing'
- Elkerton: Shark attack 'was like watching 9/11'
Fanning escaped relatively unscathed - shaken not stirred.
But others in the sporting arena have died in front of our eyes.
The bouncer which fell cricketer Phil Highes was sickening to watch.
It looked innocuous at first but no one could know that the blow had inflicted such lethal damage inside his head.
Despite efforts to make Formula One safer for drivers and spectators, I well remember Ayrton Senna's crash at the San Marino Grand Prix in Italy.
Senna hit the crash barrier at speeds in excess of 300km/h and died almost instantly.
- The first documented shark attack on the Northern Rivers
- Local surfers on edge after Mick Fanning's shark attack
His accident was in the full glare of a massive crowd and played out before a worldwide television audience in the millions.
So Fanning is lucky to be alive.
Lucky that the curious shark didn't want to take a large piece of him.
You don't immediately think of surfing as the most dangerous of sports.
But collisions and sea life make it so.
It will be interesting to see how Fanning bounces back from this incident and whether it impacts on his confidence next time he is in the water.
I for one am glad he is still alive to tell the tale.