‘Fearless feat’ turns into life-changing experience

Published On: Feb 18 2013 10:55:00 PM HST

“It’s really hard to describe what it's like to actually have a great whiteswimming toward you or next to you, it's really breathtaking,” said Ocean Ramsey, who is a model and diver who lives on Oahu.

It was a journey into a shark's world.

In October, Ocean Ramsey, diver-model Kimi Werner, and a group of videographer friends entered shark territory off of Mexico.

Out of the cages they came and into the deep blue.

“It was definitely amazing,” said Morgan Ball, who shot most of it with his Go-Pro.

Capt. Chris Wade planned the trip and shot video too.

Ball said a seemingly calm female great white became the chariot for a thrilling ride.

“She allowed us to get close to her to the point where we could touch her and Ocean and Kimi were both able to ride her,” he said.

“I've seen a couple myself. They're quite an eye opener when you do run into one,” said Local shark expert John Naughton.

He said shark populations are heavy in Mexico and California, but can migrate to Hawaii to feed or breed.

He says seals and sea lions are common prey which are about the size of humans.

“We think a lot of times it's a mistaken identity when they bite a person. There's just a lot of unknown with these guys,” said Naughton.

“They are actually cautious and cognitive they're calculated. You know, it's misunderstood and misconstrued as these ravenous, mindless, man-eating machines and that's not how they are,” said Ramsey.

“Sometimes we had as many as 3-4 individuals come around the boat,” said Ball.

He said despite their caution, they knew the risk was big, but they accomplished what they set out to do.

“I hope it gives other people a chance to see that sharks are a dangerous thing, but they're more than that. They're wonderful creatures that everybody should have great respect for,” said Ball.

Researchers are gathering more information about great whites and their behavior through tagging programs.

Naughton said white sharks typically hang out between California and Mexico, but travel regularly to Hawaii.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii will be releasing some new findings later in 2013.


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