A Cape Cod lobster diver says a humpback whale didn’t swallow him and managed to spit him out alive.
The diver says he was almost unharmed after being in the whale’s jaws, a near-biblical encounter whale experts describe as rare but plausible. Michael Packard, 56, said he was diving Friday morning off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts, when the whale suddenly picked him up.
“I was in its closed mouth for 30 to 40 seconds before it rose to the surface and spit me out,” Packard noted. He said there were bruises on his body afterward, but no fractures were sustained.
His rescuers reportedly pulled Packard out of the water and took him to Cape Cod Hospital. He was discharged the same day, though he is still recovering from a soft-tissue injury.
The diver noted that he was about 45 feet deep in the water when he suddenly felt “this huge mass and everything went dark.” At first he feared he had been attacked by a shark. “Then I groped around and realized there were no teeth, and I really didn’t feel much pain. And then I realized, ‘Oh my God, I’m in the whale’s mouth, and it’s trying to swallow me,'” Packard says.
After about half a minute, the whale rose to the surface of the water and began shaking its head from side to side. Rescue team member Josiah Mayo said he saw the whale come to the surface and toss Packard back out to sea.