The diver filmed in a close encounter with one of the largest great white on record has labelled Australia’s shark culling policy as “backwards”.
For most of us, running into a great white shark while diving would be a terrifying experience, but for marine biologist Ocean Ramsey this was a dream come true.
“I was approached by this big beautiful white shark and I realise that would normally be unnerving for most people but considering I’ve been working with white sharks for over 10 years,” she told Weekend Sunrise.
“I now actually relish the moment.”
Ms Ramsey has dedicated her life to shark conservation and was out with a team of divers when they spotted Deep Blue off the coast of Oahu, in Hawaii this week.
“We were recording tiger sharks in the area looking for specific IDs and then everybody kind of disappeared and all the sharks disappeared and I looked down and I saw dolphins and up twirled these dolphins flanked by a white shark.
“And they actually kind of danced around her for over an hour,” she said.
Great whites are rarely seen around Hawaii, as they prefer cooler seas, but this one was attracted to the area by the carcass of a dead sperm whale.
The creature was also using the divers’ boat as a scratching post, and came so close they were able to touch her.
“I may have redirected her a few times and maybe even helped with the scratching that she was brushing up against the boat and trying to make sure she wasn’t getting hit by the boat props as well,” Ms Ramsey said.
One of the biggest great white sharks on record, Deep Blue is almost six metres long and weighs an estimated 2.5 tonnes.
“She could potentially be pregnant or she might just be really full,” the shark expert said.
Diver claims fatal shark attack ‘very rare’
While she relished the opportunity to swim with Deep Blue, Ms Ramsey hoped these videos inspired others to think differently about great whites.
She has called out Australian politicians for their approach to culling as the answer to recent local shark attacks.
“A lot of love for Australia but a little backwards on the policy as far as culling.
“Culling, what’s going on in Australia right now is really like shooting yourself in the foot. It actually baits them in closer to shore, attracts them closer to shore.”
Ms Ramsey said humans were actually safer in the water than on land.
“[Getting fatally mauled by a shark] is very rare. There’s less than 10 human fatalities worldwide. More people die from jellyfish, drownings, drunk drivers, texting and driving.
“I’m safer in the water with sharks than I am on land with humans.”
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