Mick Fanning’s year of living dangerously continued on Sunday, when he was part of a dramatic rescue of American surfer Evan Geiselman.
Geiselman was the victim of a savage wipeout at Hawaii’s famed Pipeline break, and Fanning was one of a number of people who dragged the unconscious 22-year-old from the surf.
Although Geiselman was initially reported to be in a critical condition following the accident, he is expected to recover.
The incident was the second serious drama world number one Fanning has been involved in this year, after he was attacked by a shark in July during an event in South Africa.
Fanning famously punched the shark and his good mate Julian Wilson paddled over to help.
Reports said the first person to reach Geiselman was South African bodyboarder Andre Botha.
Watch the dramatic rescue below:
Surfing website The Inertia reported Geiselman was floating face down in the water when Botha reached him.
Fanning and lifeguards helped carry Geiselman from the water.
Geiselman’s friend Eric Tomlinson emailed The Inertia from hospital, praising the efforts of all those who pitched in to help.
“In the heavy shorebreak they were met by lifeguards, as well as surfers (including) Mick Fanning … and a handful of others,” Tomlinson said.
“After expelling copious amounts of water Evan regained consciousness.
“Because of the heroic efforts of everyone that came to Evan’s aid he is expected to recover from this near tragedy.”
The drama unfolded as Fanning was preparing to compete in the Pipeline Masters, the event that will decide this year’s world champion.
Fanning leads the World Surfing League rankings by just 200 points from Brazil’s Filipe Toledo heading into the year-end event.
The competition begins on Tuesday.