You’d expect Ocean Ramsey to be comfortable in the water. She’s from Hawaii. Her dad was a dive instructor. And, yeah, her name is Ocean. But nobody should be this comfortable. Ocean Ramsey is cool as a sea cucumber hitching a ride on the most menacing creature on earth.
That would be the great white shark, of course, an animal capable of tearing Ramsey to shreds with just a sneeze. Thankfully, this 17-footer, found swimming off the coast of Baja, Mexico didn’t have the sniffles on this day last year, when filmmaker Juan Oliphant captured this remarkable underwater dance with death.
Just Another Swim With Sharks
It was the third time that Ramsey had ventured on a swim with great white sharks, an experience she likens to hanging out with horses. The 27-year-old had previously dived with 32 other species of shark, and claims she can hold her breath underwater for more than 5 minutes… but who’s counting.
“There is an instinctive fear, knowing what the animals are capable of, but it’s hard to describe what it’s like to be in the presence of such a magnificent animal,” Ramsey tells The Daily Telegraph of her experience. “I felt extremely privileged to have such a close encounter.”
An Endangered Breed
Privileged she is, not only because she didn’t get chomped, but because encounters with these ancient sea beasts are likely to get more and more rare. Experts say 90% of the world’s shark population has disappeared over the last half century, with fewer than 3,500 great whites left worldwide, and just 350 or so still living along the Pacific Coast. In early March, great whites became protected under the California Endangered Species Act.
“I hope that by sharing my experiences with sharks I might inspire others to take action and help protect these amazing creatures before it’s too late,” Ramsey writes at her website WaterInspired.com.
You can help by signing a petition or donating at Oceana.org.