The Shark Whisperer. Heart-stopping moment of female diver swimming with a Great Whites
A great white shark in the waters of Hawaii was no match for a quiet, petite blonde diver who dared approach the deadly predator. Stunning footage shows the moment Ocean Ramsey, a shark conservationist based out of Honolulu, swam up to the enormous aquatic animal to caress the creature and even grab hold of its fin to take a ride through the water. An advocate for shark preservation, she released the footage on Valentine's Day as her expression of love for the creatures she fears are misunderstood and at risk of extinction. She described her dance with the massive animal, saying how in the beginning she watched 'the shark acknowledge and observe me, while I peacefully and calmly allowed it to swim towards me, and then experiencing it accepting my touch, allowing me to dorsal and tail ride,' in her description of the experience. 'The connection felt as I repeatedly pet and hitched a ride on several of these sharks reminded me of my experience with horses.' The blonde diver's shark encounter was captured by ocean photographer Juan Oliphant, who used a HD HERO2 camera. He filmed the amazing interaction to show the gentler side of what most humans would consider a dangerous and aggressive creature. She said that when she goes for a free dive, which means she swims with no oxygen tank, she must keep her heart rate low and not alarm the animal by breathing heavily which creates bubbles. In an online chat with HuffPost Live, Mr Oliphant said that sharks can actually get scared off by the lights and presence of the camera crew and so they try very hard to keep still and not create too much commotion. 'You have to get the animal to trust you, they're very reserved, they're very cautious. They spook really easy.' The great whites are keenly aware when they're being watched, 'they are worried and scared,' he added, a surprising revelation about the animals that can cause great fear among swimmers and surfers. The sharks are known for their gigantic size. The largest of the species can measure up to 20 feet in length and weigh up to 5,000 lbs. They are considered the most predatory of marine mammals, usually eating other fish and seabirds. After their portrayal in Steven Spielberg's film Jaws, they are feared by beach goers. 'Many people fear sharks and have unfortunately only seen them portrayed on TV and in films as mindless man-eating machines,' she lamented in a posting on the website for Water Inspired - an underwater photography company that raises awareness for shark conservation. 'In truth, sharks are intelligent, calculated and generally very cautious about approaching humans,' she continued. Ramsey said she began free diving with sharks at the age of 14. The longest she can stay underwater for without oxygen is 5 min and 45 seconds. Growing up in Hawaii and San Diego she was constantly in the water and she now shares her love of the ocean and its inhabitants by teaching scuba, diving and surfing. The soft-spoken scuba instructor also works to protect sharks, which she fears are being killed off at an alarming rate given their reputation as aggressive killers. 'Sharks do need to be respected as wild animals and appreciated for their role as top predators in the ocean ecosystem,' she said.