Great White Shark Flips Over Kayakers in Plymouth, Bites the Boat
Officials from Plymouth confirmed Wednesday night that a Great White shark flipped over two kayakers who were out on the waters off Manomet Point before it sunk its teeth into one of their boats. Luckily, no one was injured.
Assistant Plymouth Harbormaster Stefan Gustafson said authorities received a distress call around 5:55 p.m. about two female kayakers in the water. He said at first officials thought the women had fallen out of their boats and couldn’t get back in, but then they received an additional call from someone on the nearby beach that the women were screaming “shark” and “shark attack.”
“When we got to them and pulled them out of the water we saw there was a very large shark bite on the bottom of one of the kayaks,” said Gustafson. “The bite went over half of the kayak. It was a severe bite.”
He said the kayakers were side-by-side in the water, so when the shark went after one of the women specifically, it turned over both of their boats. The shark then punctured the plastic vessel with its teeth before it swam off.
Gustafson said officials from the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries came down to the scene of the attack near Whitehorse Beach and confirmed that the bite along the bottom of the boat belonged to that of a Great White based on tooth fragments lodged in the kayak. They said the shark was roughly 12 to 14 feet in length.
The damaged kayak (seen below), which had a semi-circle of teeth marks along the bottom, was sent to the Environmental Police for examination. A State Police helicopter circled the area after the incident to see if they could spot the shark, as they have done with previous sightings this summer.
Gustafson said on Thursday, officials will continue the investigation, measure the bite marks, and have a boat from both the Harbormaster’s office and the Environmental Police Department searching the general area where the attack occurred.
Gustafson said in all his time working for the Harbormaster, he has never heard or seen anything quite like what happened Wednesday evening.
“Not in this area ever,” he said. “The last thing on our minds out there is a shark attack. Especially having a Great White out there.”
The shark attack marked the second time that a Great White was spotted off of Manomet Point on Wednesday. Gustafson said earlier in the day, around 1 p.m., another kayaker claimed they saw a Great White surface roughly 15 feet away, and attack a seal.
A picture of the damaged kayak can be seen below.
— Julie Loncich (@JulieLoncich) September 4, 2014