A lobster diver was attacked and momentarily swallowed by a humpback whale Friday in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, according to the Cape Cod Times.
Michael Packard, 56, was working as a commercial lobster diver when he was attacked by a humpback whale feeding in the area. Packard was taken to Cape Cod Hospital with a broken leg, according to the report.
“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove, and the next thing I knew, it was completely black. I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth,” Packard told the outlet.
“Thank god, it wasn’t a white shark. He sees them all the time out there. He must have thought he was done.” – Cynthia Packard https://t.co/yX2j1RvWzg
— Cape Cod Times (@capecodtimes) June 11, 2021
“I was completely inside [the whale]; it was completely black,” Packard told the outlet. “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 added that he thought he was in the whale’s mouth for 30-40 seconds before it resurfaced.
“I saw light, and he started throwing his head side-to-side, and the next thing I knew, I was outside [in the water]. My first thought was, I can’t believe I got out of that situation. My second thought was for how injured I was,” he concluded. (RELATED: Teenager Critically Injured After Whale Jumps Onto His Fishing Boat In Australia)
The diver’s crewman Josiah Mayo initially thought a great white shark was attacking Packard.
Jooke Robbins, director of Humpback Whale Studies at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, told the Cape Cod Times that “based on what was described, this would have to be a mistake and an accident on the part of the humpback.”
She added that humpbacks attacking humans are rare. “It is not something I have heard happening before. So many things would have had to happen to end up in the path of a feeding whale.”