A commercial lobster diver is safe after he was literally swallowed by a humpback whale off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Michael Packard, 56, jumped off his boat into the water in Provincetown, Mass., on Friday morning when he felt a huge bump and everything went dark.
“And then I felt around and I realized there was no teeth,” he said. “And then I realized, ‘Oh my God I’m in a whale’s mouth. . . and he’s trying to swallow me,’” he said, according got CBS Boston.
Packard said he thought to himself “This is it, I’m gonna die.” He thought about his kids and wife and felt there was no getting out of the whale’s mouth.
The animal eventually spit Packard out.
“Then all of a sudden he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head. I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water,” Packard recalled. “I was free and I just floated there. I couldn’t believe. . . I’m here to tell it.”
Packard said he was bruised but suffered no broken bones or other serious injuries. He was able to leave the hospital later in the day.
Charles “Stormy” Mayo, a senior scientist and whale expert at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, told the Cape Cod Times that such incidents with humpback whales are rare since they are typically not aggressive.
“People direct dive on them [humpbacks] in the tropics, not here. In those places I’m not aware of a single incident of people having problems with them,” Mayo told the news outlet.