Australian surfer Mick Fanning in another shark scare

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Media captionMick Fanning was back at the beach where he was attacked by a shark in 2015

An Australian world champion surfer who escaped a shark attack while competing two years ago has been pulled to safety after another scare.

Mick Fanning and Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina were removed from the water on Wednesday after a shark sighting forced a halt to the J-Bay Open in South Africa.

It was the same event where Fanning made his escape in 2015.

Fanning, 36, thanked organisers for intervening in the latest incident.

"I am really glad they got us out of the water but I felt really safe out there with the skis, the drones and the plane," he said.

Organisers had stopped the event after spotting the 3m (10ft) great white shark swimming into the competition zone and coming within about 700m of Fanning.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fanning took time off from surfing in 2016
Image copyright World Surf League
Image caption Officials spotted the shark entering the competition zone

They ferried the surfers on to boats via a jet-ski, and later resumed the competition. Medina beat Fanning to advance to the semi-finals.

It is the second shark sighting at the surfing event this week.

In the 2015 incident, Fanning survived being attacked by a shark when it knocked him from his surfboard into the sea.

The three-time world champion later said he had been able to "get a punch into its back" and startle it.