Ocean Ramsey: the shark whisperer

March 19, 2020 | Environment
Ocean Ramsey: marine biologist, freediver, and shark conservationist | Photo: Oliphant/One Ocean Diving

Ocean Ramsey is a marine biologist, professional freediver and scuba instructor, marine and shark conservationist.

She is probably one of the few people in the world who has swum underwater with great white sharks.

Ramsey is inspiring people from all over the world to look at sharks not as ferocious killing machines, but as an endangered species that is critical to the water world's ecosystem.

Ocean is also widely recognized for her commitment to the protection of our oceans and marine life, and work as a passionate shark conservation advocate.

Ocean Ramsey: she has swum with nearly 50 shark species | Photo: Oliphant/One Ocean Diving

Personal Life

Ramsey was born in 1987 in Oahu, Hawaii. She is 5'10", and weighs approximately 128 pounds.

And yes, Ocean Ramsey is her real name.

The Hawaiian started swimming with sharks when she was only 14 years old.

She is also an avid swimmer, surfer, model, runner, hiker, photographer and videographer, Pilates, and Yoga enthusiast.

Ramsey completed an associate's degree in behavioral sciences and psychology, studied biology at the University of Hawaii, earned a bachelor's degree at San Diego State University, and a master's degree in ethology.

She is vegan and an enthusiastic promoter of an outdoor and healthy lifestyle.

Her role models are marine biologist and explorer, Sylvia Alice Earle, and Bella, a female great white shark.

According to Ramsey, "Bella is intelligent, resilient, strong and efficient, graceful and beautiful, influential, evolved, and important."

Ocean Ramsey is on Facebook (@oceanramseywater), Twitter (@OceanRamsey), and Instagram (@oceanramsey).

Ocean Ramsey: delivering a TED Talk in Austria in 2015

Career Highlights

Ramsey is the co-founder of One Ocean Diving, a company that runs shark diving programs and tours, and swimming sessions with several shark species.

The Pelagic Shark Snorkel is the firm's most popular experience.

People are invited to swim and interact with sharks without a cage and learn more about the physiology, biology, and behavior of sharks.

The blonde Hawaiian environmentalist has already dived with roughly 50 shark species around the world.

Ramsey is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) for over a decade.

The Hawaiian free diving's personal records are of 6 minutes and 30 seconds in static apnea, and 175 feet in constant weight depth apnea.

But she is also a first-aid instructor, and a certified wilderness first responder (WFR), emergency medical technician (EMT), and diving emergency management provider (DEMP).

Ocean has official cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) training.

Last but not least, the waterwoman is a United States Coast Guard certified captain.

Ocean Ramsey is the author of "What You Should Know About Sharks," a best-selling book about the social behavior and language of sharks, and their interaction with humans.

In 2013, the fearless free diver was featured in a viral video shot swimming next to a great white shark.

The videos of Ramsey swimming next to sharks are shot by her business partner and fiancé, Juan Oliphant.

Ocean Ramsey has always tried to debunk the myths behind Steven Spielberg's 1975 American thriller "Jaws."

"In 99.9 percent of the time, sharks cruise gracefully around," the freediver once noted.

"As long as I keep looking around, pay attention constantly and quietly, and respect and pay attention to the more dominant individuals and challenging juveniles constantly. I am treated as more or less an equal predator."

"We should never be complacent. We must be respectful and adapt at every second to every movement."

Ocean Ramsey uses a signature biomimicry wetsuit that imitates the tiger shark's natural camouflage.

In September 2015, the environmentalist delivered at TED Talk in Klagenfurt, Austria.

In 2017, she also played the character of Lily O'Neill in a "Hawaii Five-0" episode.

In 2018, knowing Donald Trump's fear of marine predator, Ramsey invited the US President to "help him overcome his fear and fall in love with sharks."

On January 15, 2019, the marine biologist and diver had a close encounter with one of the largest great white sharks ever seen.

Ramsey swam with the 20-foot giant apex predator for several minutes.

Based on the markings, scientists believe it could've been the famous "Deep Blue," a female great white previously found in Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

Ramsey, her partner Oliphant, and Zack Efron are the stars of "Saving Jaws," a 2019 documentary film that takes the trio on a journey to combat the negative media coverage associated with sharks.

Wherever she goes, Ocean Ramsey always carries her snorkel, mask, and swimming fins.

But the shark lover is often criticized for placing her hands on sharks.

Her critics insist she is harassing the animals and stress that a respected shark diving operator never touches them.

They say the behavior disturbs the ocean predator, and there's a high risk of being attacked and bitten.

Ocean Ramsey: the Hawaiian waterwoman started swimming with sharks when she was only 14 years old | Photo: Oliphant/One Ocean Diving

Ocean Ramsey Needs Your Help

The blonde "shark whisperer" elaborated a list of things everyone could do, follow and put into practice to defend and protect sharks:

1. Ban shark fin soup, shark meat, shark liver oil (squalene), or other shark-related food product;

2. Know the origin of the seafood you buy or consume - sharks can get caught as bycatch, especially in longline fisheries targeting other species like tuna and swordfish;

3. Speak up for sharks and help educate others by reposting shark conservation photos and posts on social media promoting hashtags #helpsavesharks #savetheocean #savesharks, and saying no to #sharkfinsoup and #sharkfishing;

4. Support shark research and responsible educational shark tourism;

5. Sign petitions, and support conservation campaigns and initiatives that help protect the worldwide shark population;

6. Say no to shark culling;

  • A new environmental report released by ocean conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) reveals water companies are routinely discharging untreated sewage into UK waters.
  • How long can we live without it? What is the physical and emotional impact the big ball of fire has on you? Embrace the most powerful quotes about the Sun.
  • The lunar cycle is the result of the interaction between the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth. Discover the eight phases of the Moon.

The Surfing Christmas Gift Guide for 2020 | Explore our Christmas gift ideas for surfers

SurferToday.com uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.