Man was diving for lobster off the coast of Massachusetts when 'everything went dark'.
Cape Cod lobster diver Michael Packard returned to port in Provincetown on Friday with the big fish story of a lifetime. The commercial diver said he was collecting the clawed crustaceans at a depth of 45 feet when he was swallowed whole by a Humpback whale.
“All of a sudden I felt this huge bump, and everything went dark,” Mr Packard, 56, said following his release from Cape Cod Hospital.
Initially fearing he had been swallowed by a Great White shark, Mr Packard couldn’t feel any teeth or bite wounds. "I realised, 'Oh, my God, I'm in a whale's mouth. I'm in a whale's mouth, and he's trying to swallow me’," he told the Cape Cod Times. “I was completely inside; it was completely black.”
It wasn’t three days and three nights, but the 30 to 40 seconds Mr Packard estimates he was inside the whale’s mouth was long enough for him to fear for his life. Mr Packard, who was able to breathe via his scuba gear throughout the ordeal, said he struggled as the whale dived.
“All I could feel is pressure and movement and this whale is swimming and shaking his head,” he said. The leviathan then apparently decided Mr Packard was not a suitable meal. “I saw light, and he started throwing his head side to side, and the next thing I knew I was outside,” he said.
Mr Packard, who says he has been diving for 40 years, was then rushed to shore by his crewman Josiah Mayo, who said he witnessed a disturbance on the water.
Happily, Mr Packard is recovering quickly but has a heck of a big fish story to tell in the bar.