In a scene reminiscent of the 2015 competition, a great white shark made its appearance at the World Surf League quarter-final heats on Wednesday at Jeffrey’s Bay.
The animal was spotted by safety crews during the heat 1 competition between Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning.
A WSL commentator said that the shark was spotted 6 metres from the lineup, headed in the direction of the surfers.
The competition was suspended, allowing the shark to cruise through the surf and away from the athletes.
Jet skis towed the surfers out of harms way.
Fanning may feel a sense of eerie déjà vu after his famous 2015 encounter when he fought off a shark during the finals of the same competition.
The world watched as he defended himself against a great white attack.
The live footage showed the fin appear in the water behind him, and then the surfer fending off the shark.
“It came up and got stuck in my leg rope,” Fanning said.
“I was kicking and screaming. I just saw a fin. I did not see teeth. I was waiting for the teeth to come at me as I was swimming. I punched it.
“I was being dragged and then my leash snapped so I could swim away.”
Fanning was rescued by safety crews within 45 seconds of the attack. He said afterwards that he had only lost his leg rope and there was a small depression on his board.