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By Matthew Grimson

A pro surfer is being hailed for his bravery after paddling towards a great white shark — with plans to stab it — as it attacked former world champ Mick Fanning on Sunday.

Julian Wilson was competing against Fanning in the final of the J-Bay Open when the predator appeared off South Africa's coast — an incident captured on live TV.

Wilson launched into action to save his friend and Australian countryman.

"It came up and he was wrestling it, and I saw he got knocked off his board,” Wilson said through tears in an emotional interview with the World Surf League.

“I was like, 'I’ve got a board, if I can get there I can stab it or whatever. I’ve got a weapon.'"

Fanning survived the incident unharmed, and the pair were whisked to safety by safety crews in the water.