A lobster fisherman from Massachusetts (United States) was briefly “swallowed” this Friday by a humpback whale, before being thrown back into the ocean, alive.
Michael Packard then recounted this exceptional experience to the local media.
"I was diving for lobsters when a humpback whale tried to eat me," said the fisherman, as quoted by the
Cape Cod Times
“I was in her closed mouth for 30 to 40 seconds, before she rose to the surface and spit me out.
I have bruises all over, but no broken bones.
Michael Packard told local
that he was about 13 meters deep when the incident occurred.
“I felt this huge blow and everything went black,” he says.
Thinking at first that he had been bitten by a shark, he then understood what was happening, convinced that he was going to die.
🏴 #WALSUI https://t.co/LC2C8VJsyj
- Simon Whittle (@revolbiscuit) June 12, 2021
“And suddenly, [the whale] burst onto the surface, started shaking its head,” says the fisherman.
“I was thrown into the air and landed in the water.
And I was free, I was just floating… I couldn't believe I had made it.
The man was briefly hospitalized in Princetown before he could return home.
A throat too narrow for a human to pass
A man witnessed the scene, a friend of Michael Packard who had accompanied him in this fishing.
He was the one who helped fish it out and called the rescuers.
The man is precisely a whale expert at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, an area where whales feed during this season.
When cetaceans are foraging for food, they "go forward with their mouths open and swallow fish and water very quickly and then throw the water back through their baleen," said Jooke Robbins, director of Humpback Whale Studies. center.
“Their mouths are quite wide [but] their throats are quite narrow, there is no way they can swallow anything big.
According to experts, the fairly young whale must have detected too late that it had swallowed an intruder and opened its mouth to bring it out.
In the midst of the cetacean passage season in the region, they must be left alone, according to the expert.
“If you see a whale, keep a safe distance,” Jooke Robbins adds.
“It's really important to give [them] space.
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