Surfer's mum feared she had 'lost him' in shark attack

Surfer Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark mid-competition. Credit: World Surf League

The mother of a surfer who fought off a shark has described the terrifying moment she watched him being attacked on live TV.

Australian Mick Fanning punched the shark after it ambushed him while he was competing in the J-Bay Open in South Africa.

The 34 year old was rescued from the water uninjured but his mother, Elizabeth Osborne, has told how she feared he would be killed.

Ms Osborne said it was "absolutely terrifying" watching the drama unfold and described her son's miraculous escape as "unbelievable".

I was just so terrified. I just couldn't believe what was happening.

Elizabeth Osborne

After making it to the safety of a nearby boat, triple world champion surfer Fanning told reporters he was "waiting for the teeth" to come at him and that he punched the shark in the back.