Humpback whale swallowed diver in USA – male survived with bruises


This story recalls Jonah, who in the Bible was devoured by a whale and spat out after three days and nights.

Michael Packard (56) will definitely tell his grandchildren about this experience: After the lobster diver jumped into the water from his boat on the US east coast (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) on Friday morning (8 a.m., local time) and dived to a depth of eleven meters a humpback whale devoured him. But he survived!

The man told the Cape Cod Times, “Suddenly I felt a big push. The next thing I saw was complete darkness ”. Then he noticed “that I was moving”, that the whale was “squeezing its mouth muscles”. Packard: “I was completely in”.



Michael Packard (56)Photo: Facebook

His lightning bolt thought: I was eaten by a great white shark. But the animal had no teeth. Nevertheless, he would have thought: “I can’t get out of here alive (…). I’m dead.”

But 40 seconds after it was devoured, the humpback whale suddenly appeared. Apparently he didn’t like the stowaway. “I saw light and it (the humpback whale) threw its head from side to side,” recalls the lobster diver. “And then I realized that I was once again outside in the water”.

Crew member Josiah Mayo confirmed the events according to the newspaper: Accordingly, the “medium-sized” whale “burst” out of the water and threw Packard through its mouth into freedom.

The crew member rescued him from the water, drove ashore and took him to the hospital.


Infographic: size comparison of whale species

Researcher: Descriptions credible

Jooke Robbins, director of humpback whale studies at the Provincentown Coastal Research Center, believes the descriptions are credible: “I know the people involved (…) so I have every reason to believe that what they are saying is true” she told the AFP news agency.

Although she has never heard of such an “accident” before, she thinks it is entirely possible. Foraging whales “rush ahead with their mouths open and swallow fish and water very quickly,” said Robbins. “Their mouths are quite wide,” but “their throats are rather narrow” – impossible for them to swallow anything large like a man.

She believes it was a juvenile specimen that made a “mistake” by swallowing it. Because: humpback whales are not aggressive animals, especially towards humans.

Packard survived without major injury. Only a few scratches and bruises are evidence of the whale miracle. He was discharged from the hospital on Friday afternoon. Now he wants to go diving again as soon as possible.

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