A shark attack in Massachusetts left terrifying bite marks in the side of a kayak

September 4, 2014
Two women escaped unhurt after a great white shark attacked their kayaks in the waters off Manomet Point in Plymouth, Mass. (Reuters)

Two kayakers went into the water near Plymouth, Mass., on Wednesday evening to get up close with some seals. But there was a problem: Sharks eat seals. And one of those sharks — later identified as a great white — decided to check out the kayaks. With its teeth.

While no one was hurt, the incident left a pretty intense impression on one of the vessels, as is very clear from the photos released Thursday by the Massachusetts State Police.


(Massachusetts State Police handout)

Ida Parker and Kristin Orr told the Associated Press that they were knocked from their kayaks by the shark.

“It happened so fast,” Orr told AP. “I was talking to (Parker) and the next minute I’m in the water and I just see a shark biting my kayak.”

Said Parker: “It was dark gray, pointy nose, big teeth, big eyes. It was like right next to me. It was petrifying.”


(Massachusetts State Police handout)

(Massachusetts State Police handout)

Thankfully, the shark swam away after taking what appears to be an “exploratory” bite, as John Chisholm of State Marine Fisheries put it. A bystander called 911 for the women, who were about 150 yards offshore and were rescued by the Plymouth harbormaster.

The shark was identified as a great white based on a tooth fragment and the bite marks it left behind.

Beaches in Plymouth were closed Thursday as officials searched for the shark.

The incident was not the first shark spotting off the Massachusetts coast this year. In late August, a great white spotted off of Duxbury Beach forced state police to shut down the beach for several hours after the beast swam close to shore.

That shark inspired somebody to string some funny words together in the sand.

It was also caught on camera.

Following this week’s attack, Plymouth harbormaster Chad Hunter told the Boston Globe: “This is our confirmation, this our notice, that they are there, and they are looking to eat seals.”

Or kayaks.

Abby Ohlheiser is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.
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