Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Pair of Kayakers in Massachusetts Have Frightening Encounter with Great White

Ida Parker and Kristin Orr had frightening encounter with great white shark off White Horse Beach in Plymouth Massachusetts
Ida Parker (left) and Kristin Orr (right) had scary encounter with great white shark
A pair of kayakers approximately 100 yards off of White Horse Beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts had a scary encounter with a great white shark.

On Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Ida Parker and her friend Kristin Orr decided to venture out and have a closer look at some nearby seals.  According to CBS Boston, the two were aware of the recent reports of great whites in the area but were not concerned.

Once near the seals, they were in the middle of a conversation when a 12 to 14 foot great white shark burst out of the water striking Orr's kayak which caused her to flip over backwards and Parker's to roll over. Parker told NBC Boston that she "saw at least four feet of its head. Four feet of it came up out of the water.”

“The scariest part was sitting in the water thinking he was waiting, wondering where he was. You didn't know if he was under you or around you,” Parker said.

Their screams for help were heard by a bystander on shore who called 911.  The Coast Guard responded and pulled the two from the water and took them safely to shore.

[This afternoon a two minute 911 call  made by one of the kayakers was released. Listen below ]

The harbormaster viewed the kayak bite marks and he estimates that the great white was between 12 to 14 feet in length.

Kristin Orr's kayak with visible great white shark bite marks
Orr believes she has some fantastic GoPro footage of the encounter but unfortunately, the camera was lost when the kayak flipped over. She hopes that the camera will someday be found as it should have some "great footage of us screaming."

In an interview with CBS Boston, the two now readily admit that they should not have been near the seals and they are hopeful that their misfortune will serve as a lesson to other kayakers.

Great white sharks are ambush predators and the strike on Orr's kayak is consistent with their normal behavior when they attack seals. In this case, it appears that when the shark realized that it had grabbed onto something foreign as opposed to its normal food source, it released the kayak and swam off. The shark was not spotted again.

Just last week, swimmers were ordered out of the water at a Duxbury beach following the sighting of a 12-14 foot great white by state police.  (View the State Police video here.)