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'Shark Attack': Freedivers in Hawaii Have Close Encounter With a Whale Shark, Video Goes Viral

Screen grab from video uploaded by ocean_karadise/Instagram

Screen grab from video uploaded by ocean_karadise/Instagram

Kara Pedersen, who was spearfishing with family and friends off Waianae coast in Hawaii last week, had a close call with one of the gentle giants of the sea.

Two freedivers spearfishing off the coast in Hawaii, calmly endured experiences with a couple of sharks at close quarters. Kara Pederson, who was spearfishing with family and friends off Waianae coast in Hawaii last week, had a close call with one of the gentle giants of the sea during the trip. While Pedersen looked around expecting to see a dangerous predator like a tiger shark, to her surprise it was a much larger species. A whale shark that was swimming close and that apparently did not see her.

When she looked up there was a massive whale shark and it was “headed straight towards me,” Pedersen told the publication. “I didn’t have enough time to swim out of the way,” she said. The whale shark just plowed right into her, pushing onto its back, she added.

The veteran freediver explained that it was a surreal experience as it also provided her to feel the force of such a big animal at such close quarters. Recalling the incident as one of the “coolest and scariest” moments of her life. The clip, captioned “Shark Attack" in jest, depicts a section of the incident that took place after Pedersen and diving partner Steven Murphy were thrown a GoPro from the dive boat. Luckily none of them was injured or attacked by the sharks.

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Whale shark sightings off Waianae are rare so it was a wonderful surprise for the duo to be able to swim alongside the plankton-eating shark for several minutes. Further in the video clip the whale shark seemed to interact with both freedivers, especially Pedersen. Meanwhile, another Galapagos sharks lingered a bit farther away in the frame.

The report further mentioned that Pederson’s boyfriend, Rob Ryan was on the boat cleaning a fish that he had caught, before the gentle giant’s appearance and also perhaps explains the shark activity. Upon the first collision, Pederson further said, “Luckily, they are harmless animals and I was able to push off and get out of the way of its tail.” She further said it made several close passes and thinks it “really liked” her Waihana wetsuit.

Pedersen concluded by saying that swimming with a whale shark had always been on her bucket list and added: “But this encounter exceeded our expectations.”

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