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A bump, then a bite: Great white shark hits kayaks in Massachusetts

By Chelsea J. Carter and John Newsome, CNN
updated 7:47 AM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "I was talking to her and the next minute I'm in the water," woman says
  • The shark was about 14 to 16 feet long, the harbormaster says
  • "There's a very significant bite in the kayak," according to the harbormaster

(CNN) -- This was no near miss.

Just ask kayakers Ida Parker and Kristin Orr, who were hit by a great white shark and dumped into the water Wednesday off of White Horse Beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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The two women were 100 yards offshore, near an area populated by seals, when they were struck by a shark measuring 14 to 16 feet.

"I looked back at her and it came directly out of the water, underneath the boat, launched her backwards and flipped me over," Parker told CNN affiliate WCVB.

Orr told the affiliate it happened instantly.

"I was talking to her and the next minute I'm in the water and I just see a shark biting my kayak," she said.

Stefan Gustafson, the assistant harbormaster of Harbor Unit 10, said the great white came up from underneath the kayak.

"They screamed," he said.

It was those screams that alerted people to a problem, and three harbor units responded within 10 minutes, he said.

"We did not see the shark," Gustafson said.

While the women were OK, the kayaks suffered damage.

"There's a very significant bite in the kayak. The bite goes across the kayak," he said.

What devoured this great white shark?

The incident comes a week after a great white shark was spotted off the coast of Duxbury, forcing authorities to order more than 1,000 people out of the water and off the beach.

The shark, seen from a Massachusetts State Police helicopter, was about 75 yards from the beach. State police immediately notified the Duxbury Police and Duxbury harbormaster, according to the state police.

On Wednesday, Gustafson said the kayakers were "extremely lucky."

"We didn't think anything like this would ever happen here," he said.

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