Humpback whale consumes a US diver and then spits him out
While out diving, a lobsterman from Massachusetts in the United States had a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Michael Packard, 56, was looking for lobsters off Racepoint Beach in Provincetown when he was devoured whole by a humpback whale.
Packard said he felt a “big bump” and “everything went dark,” according to The Guardian.
He initially believed he had been attacked by a shark, but he soon realised there were no sharp teeth. He was trapped in the whale’s mouth, surrounded by a “baleen screen.”
Packard continued to breathe
Packard continued to breathe through his diving tank regulator, but he realised he couldn’t do anything. His fate would be decided by the whale.
“He was going to spit me out or swallow me,” he added. He was also concerned about what would happen if his oxygen supply was depleted.
Fortunately, the whale had other plans.
“He abruptly rose to the surface and burst out laughing and shaking his head. I was simply launched into the air and landed in the ocean. I was liberated and simply floated there. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… I’m here to tell you the truth “Packard remarked.
Joe Francis, the skipper of a nearby fishing excursion, spoke with CBS Boston about what transpired.
Francis frankly stated, “He’s damn lucky to be alive.” He told how he and his crew rescued and comforted Packard.
According to CBS Boston, a biologist at the New England Aquarium said that humpback whales “gulp-feed,” which means they open their mouths wide.
Packard was simply unlucky to be caught in its path.
Whales are normally neither dangerous to humans or particularly interested in people, but their enormous size makes it prudent to keep a safe distance from them while in the water.
“I was liberated and simply drifted there. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… and I’m here to tell you about it.”
He was eventually rescued by a crewmate on the boat and treated at Cape Cod Hospital.
He sent a statement on Facebook, saying: “Hello, everyone. I just want to make something clear about what occurred to me today. A humpback whale tried to eat me while I was lobster diving.
“Before he climbed to the top and spit me out, I was in his closed mouth for maybe 30 to 40 seconds. I’m bruised, yet there are no broken bones in my body.
“I’d want to express my gratitude to the Provincetown rescue team for their concern and assistance.”
His sister, Cynthia Packard, told the Cape Cod Times that her brother had broken a leg, but he later clarified that his legs were injured.
Such human-whale contacts are rare, according to Charles ‘Stormy’ Mayo, a senior scientist and whale expert at the Centre for Coastal Studies in Provincetown.
Humpback whales are not hostile, and Mr Mayo believes the meeting happened by chance when the whale was foraging.