The gigantic animal, which measures at six meters (20 feet) and 2.5 tons, surprised the divers when it appeared on Tuesday. The female aquatic predator joined some small sharks feasting on a sperm whale carcass, according to South China Morning Post.
“We saw a few [tiger sharks] and then she came up and all the other sharks split and she started brushing up against the boat,” Ocean Ramsey, one of the divers who spotted the shark, told the Honolulu Star Adviser.
“She was just this big beautiful gentle giant wanting to use our boat as a scratching post,” Ramsey continued. “We went out at sunrise, and she stayed with us pretty much throughout the day.”
The shark, who is believed to be 50 years old and pregnant, might be the same one researchers tagged about 20 years ago and called “Deep Blue,” BBC reported.
Shark sightings in Hawaii are quite rare due to the warmer water, experts say. “Deep Blue” was last spotted swimming around Guadalupe Island off Mexico.
Despite being labeled as a predator of the sea, great white sharks are safe to swim near when they are pregnant, Ramsey said.
However, swimmers should still take caution while near them, especially within proximity of where they eat.
She continued to note that sharks often attack humans whenever they are curious or if they mistake them for their usual prey.