A lobsterman from the US has described how he narrowly avoided being devoured by a humpback whale.
Michael Packard claims he was diving when he wound himself in the jaws of the marine monster off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts, for around 30-40 seconds.
Mr. Packard was left with little more than a probable dislocated knee as the leviathan spit him out.
Despite his wife’s pleadings, he has no intention of giving up his 40-year profession diving off the coast of Cape Cod.
Humpback whales may reach 50 feet (15 meters) in length and weigh up to 36 tones. Their worldwide population is estimated to be at 60,000, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Mr. Packard, 56, told the Cape Cod Times that he and his crewmate took their boat, the Ja’n J, out on Friday morning near Herring Cove, where the circumstances were ideal, with water visibility of approximately 20 feet.
He told WBZ-TV News that he “felt this enormous jolt and everything went dark” after diving from the vessel with dive gear into the sea.
He first believed he had been attacked by one of the area’s great white sharks, “and then I felt around and realized there were no teeth.”
“And then I realized: ‘Oh my God, I’m in a whale’s mouth and he’s trying to swallow me. This is it, I’m going die’.”
Mr. Packard claims he was thinking about his wife and two sons, ages 12 and 15.
Humpback whales have been heard singing off the shore of New York.
“Then all of a sudden he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head.
“I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water. I was free and I just floated there. I couldn’t believe… I’m here to tell it.”
His topside crewmate dragged him back into the boat after anxiously examining the water for telltale bubbles from Mr. Packard’s oxygen mask.
The Provincetown Fire Department told CBS News that they responded to a call at 08:15 a.m. local time (12:15 a.m. GMT) to assist an injured lobsterman on a Provincetown beach.
After being released from Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, journalists questioned Mr. Packard about his Biblical tragedy.
The fact that humpback whales feed by opening their mouth wide to gulp down as much prey as possible, such as fish or krill, has led marine scientists to believe that what happened to Mr. Packard was most likely an accident; one expert told the Cape Cod Times that swallowing a human was practically unheard of.