In what could only be described as something truly biblical, a veteran lobster diver survived to tell his tale of being swallowed by a humpback whale. 56-year-old Michael Packard was diving off the Cape Cod coast off Provincetown, Massachusetts, when he was swallowed whole by the giant creature’s mouth on January 11, Friday morning. As per Cape Cod Times, at around 8 am local time on Friday, he and his crewmate took their vessel, the Ja’n J, off Herring Cove with a temperature at 60 degrees and water visibility of almost 20 ft. After he dived down, he saw scores of stripers and sand laces swimming by before everything went completely dark, when he felt a huge shove.
Recalling the horror, he told WBZ-TV Newsabout his thoughts of being attacked by a shark but as he didn’t feel any teeth and pain, he realised he was in a whale’s mouth which was trying to swallow him. Scared that he was going to die and never see his wife and kids again, he recalled that he spent around 30 seconds in the whale’s mouth, with his breathing apparatus in.
The marine giant then surfaced, started shaking his head and spat Packard out in the air before he landed in the water. As he was finally free, he floated in the water in relief at the unbelievable occurrence. He was rescued by his crewmate who pulled him back on the boat. Captain Joe Francis, who witnessed the narrow escape and saved him, told the media outlet that Packard was lucky to be alive as he saw him flying out of the water and then land back in. As he hauled Packard back on the boat, exhilarated survivor uttered that he couldn’t believe that he was in the whale’s mouth.
Although he feared that his legs were broken, Packard was discharged from the hospital and able to walk with a limp. Another crewman Jason Mayo, witness to the action, called Provincetown Fire Department who took him to Cape Cod Hospital. The fire department confirmed that they responded to a distress call at around 8.15 local time (12:15 GMT).