WATCH: Sea Divers Swim with Mammoth Great White Shark
Divers swam so close to the largest great white shark on record they could touch it.
While a team of divers swam in waters off the coast of Hawaii, they encountered one of the largest great white sharks recorded. Diver Ocean Ramsey told the Honolulu Star Advertiser the great white arrived while they were filming tiger sharks in mid-January. “We saw a few tigers, and then she came up and all the other sharks split, and she started brushing up against the boat,” Ramsey told the Honolulu Star Advertiser in a phone interview after swimming with the shark all day.
A dead sperm whale’s carcass drew the shark, attracted to the waters off Oahu’s south shore, to the area.
Chief of Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Jason Redulla warned people in a news release to stay clear of the carcass: “We’re asking people to stay out of the water around this carcass. We don’t want anyone to get hurt if a shark swimming around the carcass mistakes them as food. Understandably, some people want to get into the water either out of fascination or to get photographs, but it is truly dangerous to be around this carcass with so much shark activity.”
Researchers believe the shark is the same great white researchers tagged 20 years ago and dubbed Deep Blue.
“She was just this big, beautiful, gentle giant wanting to use our boat as a scratching post. We went out at sunrise, and she stayed with us pretty much throughout the day,” Ramsey said. According to Ramsey, the shark could be pregnant because it was “shockingly wide.”
“I’m without words; it’s heartwarming; she’s probably the most gentle great white I’ve ever seen,” Ramsey said. “Big pregnant females are actually the safest ones to be with, the biggest, oldest ones, because they’ve seen it all, including us.”
Sharks only attack humans if they mistake people for their usual prey or if they’re curious, she said. Since great whites typically prefer to swim in cooler waters, they are rarely seen in Hawaii. Researchers believe that Deep Blue is about 50 years old. The “grandma shark,” as Ramsey calls her, even has her own Twitter account.