‘I was completely inside’: Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown

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It’s rare that a fisherman gets swallowed whole by a humpback whale. Michael Packard was diving for lobsters when the humpback whale off Provincetown swallowed him. At first, Michael thought it was in the mouth of a great white shark but then realized he couldn’t feel any teeth.

Around 8 am Friday Packard, an experienced and licensed commercial lobster diver got in the water for his second dive that day.

What is Lobster Diving?

Lobster diving is an activity in which a person dives underwater to catch lobsters. They use ropes and baskets, metal tongs, or spears to do this task.

Packard Became Part of the Food Chain That Day

“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” Packard said when he was in the hospital, “I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth.”

Michael Packard thought it was in the mouth of a great white shark but then realized he couldn’t feel any teeth. This is when Packard realized that he was inside of a whale.

“I was completely inside; it was completely black,” Packard said. “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.”

What happened After Packard Realized he was inside of the whale

Packard had on his scuba gear at the time of the event and began struggling. The whale started shaking his head so Packard could tell the whale wasn’t enjoying his would-be meal.

Packard estimates that he was inside of the whale for around 30 to 40 seconds before the whale resurfaced.

That is when the Whale Spit him out

I saw light, and he started throwing his head side to side, and the next thing I knew I was outside in the water https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FKULR8News%2Fvideos%2F346623313570946%2F&show_text=false&width=560&t=0

Josiah Mayo, a crewman, says to have seen Packard getting spit out and retrieved him. After that Mayo radioed the Provincetown Pier where the local fire department ambulance took Packard to the Cape Cod Hospital.

“Thank God, it wasn’t a white shark. He sees them all the time out there,” said Cynthia Packard (Michael Packard’s sister). “He must have thought he was done.”

What do Humpback Whales Normally Eat?

Humpback whales are mostly known for their large song and majestic leaps out of the water. They eat a variety of prey such as krill, anchovy, sand lance, herring, mackerels mullets, smelts, and other small fish. Humpbacks have also been observed to take on larger prey items like bluefin tuna or even great white sharks whole.

How Big was this Humpback Whale?

Mayo suspects this was a juvenile humpback that was about medium size. They suspect the whale was feeding on sand lance near where Packard was diving.

How to Humpback Whales Eat?

Humpback whales open their mouth and expand the throat to make room for large prey. The whale then pushes its tongue forward, presses it against the roof of its mouth, engulfs and swallows prey by moving it back through the gullet into a compartment called an esophagus that leads to the stomach.

How Big are Humpback Whales and Are they Dangerous?

Length: Female: 49 – 52 ft. (Adult), Male: 43 – 46 ft. (Adult). The humpbacks are not usually considered dangerous predators and news of them injuring swimmers and divers is extremely rare.

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About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of Juicing-for-Health.com. She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.


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