Mick Fanning defied all odds when he battled a shark alone to survive in South Africa back in July. But nothing could stop him from competing again. Not even his own brother’s death.

In one of the most unfortunate news, Fanning learned about his brother’s death on Wednesday right before competing at the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii, as per the Washington Times. He is competing for his fourth World surfing title.

According to Mashable.com, the Australian surfer had an eventful year which included surviving a shark attack while competing in the J-Bay Open in South Africa. As Fanning set out for the Billabong Pipe Masters in Oahu, he was shocked to learn about the death of his 43-year-old brother’s, Peter Fanning, the previous night.

“This is a sad and unfortunate incident and is a private matter for the family to deal with,” a Rip Curl spokesperson told ABC News. “We ask that the media respect their privacy. But we can confirm Mick’s older brother Peter has sadly passed away. We will not be commenting further.”

Mick also lost one of his brothers back in 1998 in a car accident.

Mick found it difficult to concentrate on his title campaign right now as the terrible tragedy had already taken a toll on him. “There’s some personal stuff going on at home,” he said. “It’s heavy to talk about right now. “I’m just cruising and just, trying to live.”

Both Fanning’s team and the World Surf League are yet to comment on this tragedy. Fox Sports News also took to twitter to share the unfortunate news.

Fanning later shared his Instagram post which read, “I am so grateful for the incredible love and well wishes that have come my way since learning of my eldest brother’s passing this morning.”

“Today was one of the most challenging days of my life but I knew I could find the strength to take part in the final event of the season because that’s what Pete would want.

“I also want to give special thanks to my other brothers – my friends on tour – for their support, I couldn’t have got through today without them.”