Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Cape Cod Diver Swallowed Whole By A Humpback Whale

Michael Packard in hospital 11 June 2021 Lobster diver feels 'good overall' after he's swallowed by whale
Cecil Davis | 12 June, 2021, 17:05

I'm done, I'm dead.

A lobster fisherman in the U.S. who was nearly swallowed up by a humpback whale has lived to tell the story.

A commercial lobster diver who got caught in the mouth of a humpback whale off the coast of Cape Cod off MA in the United States on Friday morning said he thought he was going to die.

"I couldn't believe I got out of that", he said.

When he was chucked out of the mouth like a sunflower seed shell and landed in the water virtually unscathed save for bruised legs, Packard was simply dumbfounded.

"Then I realised, oh my God, I'm in a whale's mouth. and he's trying to swallow me", he said. The whale had him in its mouth for approximately 30-40 seconds before it spit him out. "And I'm here to tell it".

Mr Packard said he began to struggle - but unlike in the classic children's tale "Pinocchio" there was no need to build a fire to secure his escape.

Experts say it is extremely rare to be swallowed by a humpback whale, Peter Corkeron, a senior scientist at the New England Aquarium estimating there is a one in 1 trillion chance someone would be eaten by a whale.

Whales are magnificent and friendly creatures that have no problem with humans - in fact, they usually ignore them.

"I thought myself 'This is it".

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Michael Packard, 56, of Wellfleet, was released hours later from a Cape Cod hospital following his scary encounter with a humpback whale.

When humpbacks engage in so-called "lunge feeding", she continued, they shoot forward in the water with their mouths open to quickly catch a large amount of food.

"When they do that, they don't necessarily see everything", she said.

The whale, identified as a mature female named Valley, was first spotted Monday by a whale watch boat on Stellwagen Bank northeast of Provincetown, according to a statement from the Center for Coastal Studies.

The harbour is a popular area for boaties.

Packard's mate, Josiah Mayo, plucked him out of the water and headed back to shore.

"Then all of a sudden he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head".

"If you come up to atmospheric pressure, and you've held your breath, you could develop an embolism", Mayo said.

"He must have kept his cool", Mayo said. He added that to get out of such a situation unscathed, Packard, who is an experienced diver, must have relied on his expertise to remain calm during the whole ordeal.