‘Shark Week’ Lessons Helped Save Kayakers From Great White

When a great white shark decided to take a bite out of a kayak off Plymouth this week, it was a lesson learned from Shark Week that allowed Tom Davies to aid the two frightened victims.

Ida Parker and Kristin Orr, both in their early 20s, were not injured in the attack, but were thrown into the water by the shark. Hearing their cries for help, 60-year-old Davies grabbed his kayak and rushed to help. He attempted to calm them so their actions wouldn’t draw the great white back to the area, something he reportedly learned from watching Shark Week.

“We weren’t the prey that he wanted. If we had started paddling in, if we started to create turbulence… I didn’t want to create any more seal-like conditions that he might think we were prey.”

Davies, who hails from Syracuse, New York, but vacations in Plymouth, called 911 before paddling several hundred yards to reach the victims, The Boston Herald reports. At first unaware that a great white was responsible, he realized upon reaching them that a shark was nearby.

After helping Parker back into her damaged kayak, Davies told both women to hold on to his boat while they waited for help to arrive, assuring them that the shark wouldn’t be back. Between 10 to 20 minutes later, the Plymouth Harbormaster arrived on scene, after multiple 911 calls were made. A camera attached to Orr’s kayak, which may have recorded the attack, sank when the shark struck. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the first time this week that a great white has sent a camera to the bottom, as The Inquisitr previously reported.

Jeff Kurr, a producer who films specials for Shark Week and has experience swimming with great whites, expressed pride that something learned from Discovery may have helped avert further attacks.

“Splashing around the surface is definitely going to attract attention of a white shark…These girls were lucky because the shark tasted the plastic kayak and quickly lost interest. Humans and kayaks aren’t on the sharks’ menu.”

According to WCVB, the pair had initially set out along Stage Point in hopes of observing a great white, known to be lurking offshore.

“They heard from our neighbor that a great white had consumed a seal in one gulp in that area,” Parker’s father, Randy, said. “So they decided to head out on the chance they could get a good look at one.”

Parker added that while the two women are expected to recover fully, they were understandably shaken. Massachusetts Environmental Police, along with the Plymouth Harbormaster, are patrolling the area, looking for the great white shark.

[Image via Dyer Island Cruises]