A Massachusetts lobsterman is recovering from minor injuries after he was gobbled up by a humpback whale on Friday morning.
Fifty-six-year-old Michael Packard was chasing crustaceans near Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown when he saw schools of fish swim by him as he descended to the ocean bottom.
Then, he said, everything went dark.
“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove, and the next thing I knew, it was completely black,” Packard said on Friday, according to the Cape Cod Times. “I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth.”
“I was completely inside (the whale); it was completely black,” Packard added. “I thought to myself, ‘There’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done. I’m dead.' All I could think of was my boys — they’re 12 and 15 years old.”
Packard said he initially thought he had been nibbled by a great white shark, but he couldn’t feel teeth inside the creature's mouth and didn’t notice any wounds.
He then felt the whale shaking its head before it surfaced and ejected its would-be breakfast.
“I saw light, and he started throwing his head side-to-side, and the next thing I knew, I was outside (in the water),” Packard said. He guessed he was inside the whale for 30 to 40 seconds.
“My first thought was I can't believe I got out of that situation," Packard said. "My second thought was for how injured I was."
His crewmate, Josiah Mayo, witnessed the entire thing and pulled Packard from the water.
“Michael is a smart guy and an exceptional diver,” said Josiah’s father, Stormy, a whale expert at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown. “For that to happen to him, you can be sure he did everything he was supposed to do.”
Packard was released from Cape Cod Hospital on Friday with soft tissue damage after initially thinking he had broken his leg.
“I’m good overall,” said Packard, who, again, had been inside the mouth of a humpback whale hours earlier.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Lobster diver feels 'good overall' after he's swallowed by whale