Mat's family, Star readers thank Mick Fanning for donation
UPDATE 2.55pm: READERS of The Northern Star have titled Mick Fanning a "top bloke" for stating he will donate the $75,000 given to him for appearing on 60 Minutes last night to Ballina shark attack victim Mat Lee.
Mr Fanning was on 60 Minutes to talk about his close call with a shark in South Africa, and declared he would donate the funds received for the appearance to Mr Lee, who remains at the Gold Coast University Hospital after being bitten by a great white shark at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach early last month.
Readers of The Northern Star took to Facebook to applaud Mr Fannings' generosity.
"A typical true blue Aussie! Help out your mates - even if you don't know them! Hugs for you Mick!" Chrissy Scarvell said.
"It's awesome and admirable to see Mick Fanning offer his support and financial help to White shark victim Matt Lee. Well done Mick, you're a true Australian legend," Wayne Webster said.
"So generous and unselfish. We also need to pass the hat around for our wonderful rescue helicopter too for without them we wouldn't be achieving the results that we do," Mavis Meadowcroft said.
"Good on you Mick that's awesome," Debbie Peters said.
"Doing what Aussies do ... on ya Mick," Brian Mullens said.
"What an awesome thing to do," Nathan Bryant said.
"What a top bloke. Onya, Mick," Charlotte Rae said.
"Legend! Good on you Mick," Brooke Gibson said.
INITIAL REPORT: TWEED Heads surfing star Mick Fanning says he will donate the $75,000 given to him for appearing on 60 Minutes last night to Ballina shark attack victim Mat Lee.
Mr Fanning appeared on the show to talk about his close call with a shark in South Africa
And Nine Network chief executive David Gyngell has rounded up the total to $100,000 by donating $25,000 of his own.
Mr Lee remains at the Gold Coast University Hospital after being bitten by a great white shark at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach early last month.
Mr Lee's family expressed their thanks to Mr Fanning and Mr Gyngell In a statement on the Mathew Lee Official Support Facebook page.
"Mick Fanning and David Gyngell," the statement reads.
"No words can describe how grateful we are for the generous donation."
Newscorp reported Mr Fanning had hoped to see Mr Lee in hospital as part of the 60 Minutes segment, but the Mr Lee had to go in for more surgery and the visit had to be cancelled.
Mr Fanning had another close call with a shark during filming with 60 Minutes.
As part of the segment, Channel 9 was filming Mr Fanning at Hastings Point, going out for his first time since his encounter with a great white J-Bay Open World Surf League event, when the surf star spotted another shark.
"We were sitting on there and then we sort of looked and we just saw a tiny little fin," Mr Fanning said back on the beach.
"You wouldn't believe it - yeah, I swear to God. ... It was a full shark, hey."