A PRO SURFER from the Sunshine Coast has had a close call with a shark, almost two years after Mick Fanning fought off an attack at the same break.

Coolum surfer Julian Wilson, who famously paddled to assist Fanning in 2015, and Brazillian competitor Filipe Toledo were plucked out of the water after marshals spotted a 2-3m mako shark nearby.

A large shark attacks Mick Fanning. 
Photo: Screengrab WSL
A large shark attacks Mick Fanning. Photo: Screengrab WSL

The shark scare has halted the men's World Surf League competition at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, with the competition for the day cancelled soon after Wilson and Toledo were ferried to shore.


Julian Wilson of Australia advances to Round Three of the Corona Open J-Bay after defeating Josh Kerr of Australia in Heat 5 of Round Two in pumping Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
Julian Wilson of Coolum was plucked from the water at J-Bay after a shark sighting - at the same break where he paddled to Mick Fanning's aid when he was attacked by a shark two years ago. Kelly Cestari

After returning to the beach, Wilson told the ABC his first thoughts were of his family but he was "a bit bummed" that competitors were missing out on the perfect conditions.

"I was so excited just being out there and anything like this happening was the furthest thing from my mind," Wilson said.


Julian Wilson at home in Coolum.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Julian Wilson at home in Coolum. John McCutcheon

"I was just focusing on the waves and how beautiful it was out there, it's a bummer that we have to put a pause on such a beautiful day but the waves are going to be here again tomorrow."

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Wilson came to the aid of Aussie surfing icon Mick Fanning when the three-time world champion was knocked off his surfboard by a large white pointer at J-Bay in 2015.

The incident saw the two men nominated for Sport Australia's Hall of Fame 'The Don' award and jointly awarded the Spirit of Sport.