Ocean Ramsey encounters 20-foot great white shark

January 17, 2019 | Environment
Ocean Ramsey: swimming with 'Deep Blue' | Photo: Juan Oliphant

A great white shark made a rare appearance Tuesday to feed off a dead sperm whale off Oahu's South Shore, in Hawaii.

Professional freediver Ocean Ramsey spent a day swimming with a female shark she identified as "Deep Blue," one of the largest known great white sharks.

The magic, yet dangerous moment was captured by Ramsey and professional photographer Juan Oliphant. The 20-foot predator even brushed up against the research boat.

"I waited quietly, patiently, observing as she swam up to the dead sperm whale carcass and then slowly to me. She passed close, and I gently put my hand out to maintain a small space so her girth could pass," explained Ramsey.

"I know some people criticize touch but what some don't realize is that sometimes sharks seek touch. She swam away escorted by two rough-toothed dolphins who danced around her over to one of my shark research vessels and proceeded to use it as a scratching post."

Ban Shark Finning

Ocean Ramsey spent the entire day with "Deep Blue" until the sun went down. The diver has been trying to re-introduce in Hawaii the bill to ban the purposeful killing of sharks and rays.

"I wish more people would have a connection with sharks because then they would understand that it's not petting sharks or pushing them off to maintain a respectable space that is hurting them," notes Ramsey.

"It's the wasteful and cruel practice of grabbing and catching sharks to cut off their fins - which slowly kills them - for shark fin soup in a process called shark finning."

Great white sharks are a vulnerable species and are rarely seen in Hawaii.

Judging by the width and the hunger, "Deep Blue" could be pregnant. Some researchers also believe that pregnant great whites follow whales.

  • Ocean Ramsey is a marine biologist, professional freediver and scuba instructor, marine and shark conservationist.
  • Earthquakes are the deadliest and most damaging natural disasters in the world. But why do they happen and what caused the planet to shake violently?
  • It's not easy to find an accurate high-definition world map, but we've got you covered. Explore our carefully curated atlas.
  • Lightning is a natural electrical discharge created by imbalances between a cumulonimbus cloud and the ground or within itself.

SurferToday uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info: