63-year-old Nan Hauser has been studying cetaceans in their natural environment for more than thirty years. The biologist heads the Cetacean Research and Conservation Center in New Zealand, and she sees humpback whales as the main object of study.
That day, together with a group of colleagues, Nan went deep into the waters off the Cook Islands. Scientists have studied the migration of whales in the Pacific Ocean. The biologist was underwater, and a group of employees of the Center watched what was happening with the help of drones.
In all her many years of diving practice, the biologist has never found herself in a dangerous situation. She studies large mammals. Therefore, she clearly fulfills the rule – never touch animals and behave as calmly as possible.
For the first time in her life, a woman experienced acute panic when she saw a thirty-ton whale carcass through the water column, rapidly and inevitably rising towards her. The male humpback left her no chance when attacking. There were several meters of ocean water between the scientist and the ship with her colleagues and there was no need to count on help.
The only thing left for Nan was to calm down and wait for developments, since usually whales do not harm divers.
But this male did not change his direction and, coming close to the diver, tried to crush her with his fin. The whale began to push the woman with his nose, ducked under her. His behavior was strange and dangerous, because Nan didn’t have much oxygen left. In addition, another humpback swimming nearby began to actively beat the water with a massive tail.
The longest ten minutes of her life ended unexpectedly. The whale pushed the woman to the surface with a powerful movement not far from the vessel with people. The stunned faces of the scientists who hastily picked up Nan reflected all degrees of amazement and relief at the same time.
As it turned out later, it was not the actions of a pair of humpbacks that frightened people watching the dramatic action from the air. It turns out that an unsuspecting scuba diver was being approached by a group of ferocious predators who repeatedly attacked swimmers, tiger sharks. Their intentions were quite obvious. And, at some point, the scientists turned off the cameras so as not to shoot the bloody scene. They simply did not have time to help a colleague. And then, unexpectedly, whales came to the aid of the researcher.