A diver who was swallowed by a whale miraculously lived to tell the tale.
Michael Packard was diving for lobster off the Cape Cod coast in Massachusetts, US when he was hit by what he said felt like a 100-tonne lorry – but it turned out to be a humpback whale.
The dad-of-two said he thought he was swallowed by a shark but as he felt around for teeth he realised he was in the huge mouth of a humpback whale.
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He later recounted his terrifying ordeal from June last year to the Cape Cod Times how he suddenly thought: "Oh my God, I'm in the mouth of a whale."
What followed was an intense struggle as Michael lost his breathing apparatus and he was forced to feel around in the darkness.
Thinking he was going to die, Michael said his thoughts flew to his young children and his family, when suddenly the darkness turned to light as the humpback opened its jaw and he was tossed back out onto the ocean surface.
Explaining the terrifying moment he entered the beast's mouth, he said: “All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black."
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“I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth,” he said.
“I was completely inside; it was completely black. 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.”
He estimated he was in the whale for 30 to 40 seconds before the whale finally surfaced and tossed him out when the animal reacted to the fisherman struggling in its mouth.
“I saw light, and he started throwing his head side to side, and the next thing I knew I was outside (in the water),” said Packard.
Packard was soon released from Cape Cod Hospital with what he described as “a lot of soft tissue damage” but no broken bones.
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