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'I'm in a whale's mouth': Lobster diver swallowed by humpback lives to tell the tale
12 June 2021, 09:19
A lobster diver has lived to tell the tale after being swallowed by a humpback whale off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA.
Michael Packard, 56, of Wellfleet MA, was injured after he was caught in the mouth of the giant sea creature.
After being released from Cape Cod Hospital, the professional lobster diver told local media outlet WBZ-TV that he was roughly 45 feet deep in the waters of Provincetown when "all of a sudden I felt this huge bump, and everything went dark".
Mr Packard first thought he was the victim of a shark attack, a common issue in the area.
However, after realising he was not in any pain and could not feel any teeth, his thoughts quickly turned to a different kind of peril.
"Then I realized, oh my God, I'm in a whale's mouth... and he's trying to swallow me," he said.
"And I thought to myself OK, this is it - I'm finally - I'm gonna die."
The diver told local media that his thoughts went straight to his wife and children.
Mr Packard said he must have been in the humpback's mouth for roughly half a minute but he was still able to breathe as he had his breathing equipment on.
When the whale finally surfaced, it shook its head and spat the diver out, who was later rescued by his crewmate in the surface boat.
His sister, Cynthia Packard, originally told the Cape Cod Times that her brother broke a leg, but he later confirmed that his legs are just bruised.
Charles "Stormy" Mayo, a senior scientist and whale expert at the Centre for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, told the paper that stories like this are rare.
He said humpbacks are not aggressive creatures and therefore the incident was most probably an accident that occurred while the animal was feeding on fish.