The incident is the second in two days at the notorious break in South Africa.
The sighting comes just one day after surfer Filipe Toledo had a similarly close encounter with a mako shark spotted swimming about 90 metres in front of him at the J-Bay Open.
Fanning could be forgiven for thinking he was in a state of deja vous, as exactly two years ago to the day, he was forced to punch, kick and fight off a great white shark when it attacked him at exactly the same spot and event in South Africa, while he waited to catch a wave.
Once the shark was spotted by a drone above them, organisers jumped into action during the quarter final, sending out emergency jet skis with stretchers to pick both men up and return them to the shoreline whilst another jet ski chased the shark out to sea. The drone footage showed just how close the shark had come to Fanning’s surfboard.
Fanning our Aussie contender who would eventually lose the heat, saw the footage for the first time when he was recapping the days action and was taken aback by the enormity of the fish.
Fanning:- “Bleep, That is huge. Look at that thing, that thing is a beast, at least they saw this one. I’m glad they got us out of the water. Those things are just submarines, however long they are, the roundness of them as well, they are big, big beasts”.
The shark caused the men’s World Surf League quarter-final to be temporarily suspended. Fanning who became a hit with social media after punching the shark that attacked him in 2015 said, he didn’t panic, rather saw the amusing side of lightning very nearly striking twice, once he was on the boat.
Fannings chance at taking a forth position came to an end at the hand of the 2014 world champion Medina.
Medina enjoyed one long tube ride and a series of big sweeping turns and floats to lay down an 8.5 and 8.9 as Fanning struggled to pick up good scores.
Joining Medina in the semi-finals is young gun Frederico Morais, who won a storming heat with a perfect 10 on his final wave to end the hopes of world champion John John Florence.
In a closely contested series and with Florence out, Australia’s Matt Wilkinson still leads the overall rankings after securing fifth place and is likely to keep the leaders jersey and face Wilson in a quarter final. Five events remain.
Meanwhile in Hawaii similarly chilling footage recently emerged online showing the moment a seemingly innocent white tip shark bit a chunk out of a diver’s shoulder.