By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Ocean Ramsey is a scuba teacher, a freediver, a surfer, and a swimmer who went to college to learn about marine biology – the study of creatures who live in the ocean or other salty waters. She’s also worked at three different marine parks, particularly with sharks. When Ramsey is home in Hawaii, it’s not uncommon to find her taking pictures of sharks underwater. How can she stand to swim with these killers? Well, according to her, they aren’t killers at all, they are just misunderstood creatures. She said, “Many people fear sharks and have unfortunately only seen them portrayed on TV and in films as mindless man-eating machines.”
Just to prove how harmless sharks really are, she got with her photographer friend Juan Oliphant and went swimming with the sharks. “The goal was to go and find some great white sharks and collect video footage of their natural behavior, but also, if the opportunity arose and the conditions were right, to actually interact with them,” she added.
And interact with them, she did! The video they recorded shows Ramsey swimming with the sharks, and they aren’t attacking her like you might expect them to. In fact, the sharks are quite calm, curious, and intelligent according to Ramsey. As if swimming with the sharks wasn’t enough to prove her point, she actually held onto one’s fin and let the animal pull her around in the water! ”We wanted to show that this is what they’re really like — not the Hollywood movie where you put a drop of blood in the water and the animals go crazy,” she said
“While swimming with great whites is a thrilling and inspiring experience, my interaction with sharks is absolutely driven by my greater goal to advocate shark conservation,” said Ramsey.
According to Florida International University, around 100 million sharks are killed every year. There are estimated to be less than 3,500 great white sharks left in the whole world. The animals are already considered endangered, and if they go extinct, there will be serious consequences for sea life in the ocean! Dedicated shark friends like Ocean Ramsey are trying to help people understand that these animals are extremely misunderstood and that we should open our hearts more to these beautiful creatures. Now, don’t go swimming with sharks or anything. After all, Ocean Ramsey is very experienced and knowledgeable about the animals. She just wants you to know that they’re not fearsome monsters deserving of hate.
Images and video courtesy of Ocean Ramsey.