Diver Says He Was Swallowed By Whale Off Provincetown

Michael Packard has an incredible story to tell about this encounter with a whale off Provincetown.

Video Transcript

- Now to a CBSN Boston exclusive. A lobsterman says that he was swallowed up and spit out by a whale off of Provincetown. Provincetown fire officials tell us that the diver was 45 feet down when the whale grabbed him. The whale then surfaced and let that diver, Michael Packard, go.

He was then pulled back onto his boat and brought to shore. CBSN Boston was the only camera there as the diver left the hospital. No one can tell the story like Michael himself.

MICHAEL PACKARD: I'm a lobster diver out of Provincetown, Massachusetts. And I was diving today. I jumped over, and I got down to about 45 feet of water. And all of a sudden, I just felt this huge bump, and everything went dark. And I could sense that I was moving.

And I was like, oh my God, did I just get bit by a shark? And then I felt around and I realized, there was no teeth, and I had felt really no great pain. And then I realized, oh my God, I'm in a whale's mouth. I'm in a whale's mouth, and he's trying to swallow me.

And I thought to myself, OK, this is it. This is-- I finally-- I'm going to die. And I thought about my kids and my wife. I really-- there's no getting out of there.

And all of a sudden, he went up to the surface and just erupted, and started shaking his head. And I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water, and I was free, and I just floated there. And-- and I was just-- I couldn't believe it.

I couldn't believe I got out of that, and I'm here to tell it. And I thought my legs were broken, but I'm all bruised up. And I made it.

- What were you thinking when you were in the grasp of this whale and you're going to die?

MICHAEL PACKARD: It was happening so fast, my only thought was, how to get out of that mouth? And I realized there was no overcoming of a beast of that size. That he was going to do with me what he wanted to do. And it was either he spit me out or he swallowed me.

And I didn't-- and I was-- I was actually in his mouth probably a good 30 seconds. But I still had my regulator in my mouth, I was still breathing. And I was just wondering-- actually, one of the things that went through my mind is just, oh my God, what if he does swallow me, and here I am I'm breathing air. And I'm going to breath in this whale's mouth until my air runs out? Crazy stuff.

- Did the fishermen come by and help you when you got spit out?

MICHAEL PACKARD: Well, when I dive for lobsters, my mate, he follows my bubbles. And so, he was right next to me, and he saw the whale come up and throw me out. And he pulled right over. And then another boat helped carry me in, pulled me into the boat.

- Well, what an incredible story. So, thankful that he's OK.