Diver Swims with Legendary Great White Shark Off Hawaiian Coast

Jan 19, 2019

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There’s a reason the Hawaiian Islands attract nearly 10 million visitors a year and it’s primarily due to the stunning beaches and picturesque waters. And while no doubt inviting, beachgoers often forget that they share the water with an abundance of marine life.

Hawaii attracts sharks, including the Great White, every year. And this past week, what is believed to be the largest shark in the world was spotted off the coast of Hawaii and a well-known diver was there to capture the moment.

Deep Blue is the name given to this 50-year-old Great White shark. Measuring 20 feet in length, the female shark weighs upwards of 5,000 pounds. Sightings of the massive Great White are very rare, with the last recorded sighting in 2015 off the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

Great Whites are known to move around a great deal, covering thousands of miles in any given year. During the winter months, Great Whites typically migrate from the western coasts of the US and Mexico towards the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Deep Blue is no exception, sighted far from the coast of Mexico, where she was spotted in 2015 in late summer.

Deep Blue seen off the coast of Mexico in 2015 (Photo by Michael Maier/Barcroft USA/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Deep Blue seen off the coast of Mexico in 2015 (Photo by Michael Maier/Barcroft USA/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Ocean Ramsey, the diver who spotted and photographed Deep Blue, is a popular Instagrammer and conservationist. Based in Hawaii, Ramsey has made headlines in the past after posting videos and photos of her swimming alongside massive sharks without a cage. Her goal is to spread awareness of sharks and the issues facing the massive creatures, posting on Instagram using the hashtag #HelpSaveSharks. Ramsey actively works to show that sharks aren’t mindless beasts but rather intelligent animals vital to the ocean ecosystem.

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PHOTO BY @juansharks 😍😱🤭😳😍 Maybe my fav photo of me (@oceanramsey) and Shark ohana 🦈 of all time so far 😳😍😱 It’s so hard to choose, so many beautiful moments I am so eternally grateful for sharks please help save them. I am without words and at the same time I think I never stop speaking up for sharks, I am grateful beyond measure for my experiences and what they have taught me. This photo was taken yesterday off my home waters of Oahu, Hawaii when hey Shark I think I’ve met previously in Isla Guadalupe graced us with her big beautiful incredible presence 💙 I headed out with my team from @oneoceandiving (my ❤️ @juansharks ) and @mermaid_kayleigh @forrest.in.focus @camgrantphotography for a day I will never forget. I’ve been trying to get the bill re-introduced in Hawaii to ban the purposeful killing of sharks and rays and this just feels like the biggest sign to keep pushing forward for more protection for them. Shark populations around the planet are severely declined. They need protection from targeted shark fishing for shark been soup and sport fishing. Please speak up in your own community and help support international efforts. #helpsavesharks #savesharks #shark #greatwhiteshark #sharks #oceanramseyandgreatwhite #oceanramseygreatwhite PHOTO BY #JUANSHARKS #Sharkphotographer #Sharkarma #savetheocean #instagood Join me at my team to learn about sharks OneOceanDiving.Com @oneoceanresearch @oneoceanconservation @oneoceaneducation @oneoceanglobal @oneoceanhawaii @waterinspired New conservation benefit tiger shark biomimicry wetsuit by @xcelwetsuits #instagram #discoversharks #instagood #ocean #incredible #amazing #beautiful Photo by @juansharks 😘😍❤️🦈❤️

A post shared by Ocean Ramsey #OceanRamsey (@oceanramsey) on

On a recent dive off of the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, Ocean Ramsey encountered Deep Blue as the shark feasted on a dead whale carcass. Ramsey can be seen swimming right alongside the behemoth shark occasionally accompanied by dolphins.

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I waited quietly, patiently, observing as she swam up to the dead sperm whale carcass and then slowly to me passing close enough I gently put my hand out to maintain a small space so her girth could pass. 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 @oneoceandiving shark research vessels and proceeded to use it as a scratching post, passing up feeding for another need. I wish more people would have a connection with sharks and the natural world, because then they would understand that it’s not petting sharks or pushing them off to maintain a respectable space that is hurting sharks (because trust me if she didn’t like being pet she can handle and communicate 🦈) it’s the wasteful and cruel practice of grabbing and catching sharks to cut off their fins (which slowly kills them) for #sharkfinsoup in a process called #sharkfinning or the wasteful #sharkfishing or #sharksportfishing If it bothers you that I touched the shark please click on one of the hashtags above and leave them a negative comment first 😉 #HelpSaveSharks #SpreadAwareness #FinBanNow #bansharkfinning #Sharkfin Vid shot on my @gopro #gopro3000 #goproforacause out with @oneoceandiving with @juansharks ❤️ @mermaid_kayleigh 💙 @camgrantphotography ❤️ @forrest.in.focus 💙 @oneoceanresearch @oneoceanglobal @waterinspired @oneoceansharks @oneoceanhawaii @oneoceaneducation #savetheocean #sharktouch #touchingsharks #oneoceanteam #discoversharks #discoverocean #greatwhitesharkinhawaii #freedivingwithsharks #whitesharkhawaii #deadwhalehawaii #dolphinsandsharks #🤙🏽 #Hawaii #sharka 🤙🏽🦈

A post shared by Ocean Ramsey #OceanRamsey (@oceanramsey) on

While Ocean Ramsey might have made Deep Blue look harmless and friendly, she did go on to include a disclaimer in her next few posts, noting the dangers of diving near sharks without a cage. “I highly discourage people from purposely jumping in the water with great white sharks or tiger sharks or any large shark like a bull shark or a Galapagos.”

H/T: CNN Travel

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Featured image by Michael Maier/Barcroft USA/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

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