The footage of surfer Mick Fanning's close encounter with a shark tapped into many of our worst fears.

The Australian says it may take him months to get back in the water after the incident in South Africa.

But many of Fanning's compatriots appear less concerned.

Sports writer Will Swanton – who was himself out surfing on Wednesday – wrote in a newspaper this week that "the thrill of knowing you might be killed" is part of the appeal.

"There was a shark attack on this beach three or four years ago and the very next morning we were all out surfing in the same spot. And it was frightening, it was spooky but that fear and that spookiness was part of the attraction for sure."

Although the number of shark attacks is still very small, in Australia it is rising – five people were killed in the 12 months to February.

Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.

 

Source: Al Jazeera