Packard, 56, says it was caught in the mouth of a humpback whale off Cape Cod before being spat out.
A commercial lobster diver survived after being caught in the mouth of a humpback whale off Cape Cod before being spat out.
Michael Packard, 56, said he was about 14 meters deep in the waters off Provincetown when “suddenly I felt this huge bump and it all went dark.”
He believed he had been attacked by a shark, running through the waters in the area, but then realized he couldn’t feel any teeth and was in no pain.
“Then I realized I was in a whale’s mouth… and he’s trying to swallow me,” Packard said.
“And I thought that was it, I’m going to die.”
Veteran Cape Cod lobster diver Michael Packard was swallowed whole by a humpback whale and lives to tell the tale … pic.twitter.com/CQcCP2fdVs
– Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 12, 2021
Packard estimates he was in the whale’s mouth for about 30 seconds on Friday, but continued to breathe because he still had his breathing apparatus inside. Then the whale surfaced, shook its head, and spat it out.
He was rescued by his teammate in the surface boat.
“I saw light, and he started to throw his head side to side and the next thing I knew I was out [in the water]”Packard told the Cape Cod Times.
Jooke Robbins, director of humpback whale studies at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts, said she had no reason to doubt this account.
Robbins said she had never heard of such an “accident”, but “it just might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“I didn’t think it was a hoax because I knew the people involved … so I have every reason to believe what they are saying is true,” she told the agency AFP press release.
“When they [whales] the fish… they rush in, open their mouths and gobble up the fish and the water very quickly, ”she said, adding that they have a big mouth but a throat so narrow they couldn’t swallow a human.
“It is important that people are well aware… And when they see a whale, keep a good distance. It’s really important to give the whales their space, ”Robbins added.