Diver swallowed by a humpback whale lives to tell the tale

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 (Cape Cod Times)
(Cape Cod Times)

A Massachusetts man has recalled how he nearly died last year, after being swallowed by a humpback whale.

In June 2021, Michael Packard, a veteran lobster diver, discussed how he was trapped inside a humpback whale’s mouth for approximately 40 seconds with the Cape Cod Times.

He noted that when went into the water for a dive that day, at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, MA, he was about 10 feet from the bottom, before being swallowed whole by the mammal.

“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” he told the publication last summer, after he was released from Cape Cod Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.

“I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done, I’m dead,’” he added. “All I could think of was my boys, they’re 12 and 15 years old.”

One year later, Packard spoke again about how the incident happened during a recent interview with Cape Cod Times, acknowledging how it occurred on “just a normal day”.

“I get in the water and I did two dives,” he explained. “And then [on the] third dive, I dove down and I was descending to the bottom. And I was just about to the bottom. And I just got slammed. Just like a freight train … and then all of a sudden it went black.”

He remembered how the “water was just rushing around” him, as he was moving through it “wicked fast,” and he could “feel pressure on [his] whole body”.

According to Packard, as he was still in the whale’s mouth, his breathing device had fallen out, which he tried to grab, as he was worried that this was how he was going “to die”.

“I was like, ‘I better grab that f***ing thing,’” he said about that device. “And I put it back in my mouth. And I’m in there, and I’m trying to get out, and [the whale is] f***ing freaking out.”

“And I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is it, Michael. This is it. This is how you die,’” he continued. “And I was 100 per cent sure that I wouldn’t get out of this situation. It was a done deal, and I thought about my kids, and my wife.”

However, Packard said that he ultimately got out of the whale’s mouth, as the mammal “started going” up to the surface and “shaking his head”.

“All of a sudden it just got to the surface and he started shaking his head and getting all erratic … and then boom!,” he explained. “I f***ing fly out of his mouth. And I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’”

The former diver also expressed that once he was “floating on the surface,” he thought about how grateful he was that his “lungs didn’t explode” while in the whale’s mouth.

“Thank god I kept breathing, so I didn’t get the bends, or whatever,” he explained. “My lungs didn’t explode. I was breathing and he came up at the right ascent. But there I was just floating on the surface.”

“And I was just looking up in the sky, like, ‘I’m f***ed up, I know, but I think I’m going to live,’” he added.

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