A lobster diver is grateful to be alive after he spent around 30 seconds inside the mouth of a humpback whale last Friday.
Michael Packard tells WCVB Channel 5 Boston that he was diving for lobsters Friday morning off Herring Cove Beach off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts, around 8 a.m. when the unimaginable happened about 35 feet below the surface. As Packard was swimming, searching the bottom of the sea for lobsters, the large whale came along and scooped him into the mouth of the whale.
"I struggled and he was like contracting his jaws on me or his muscles in his mouth and I thought, there's no way I'm going to get out of this with sheer brute," Packard tells the television station.
He says his mind began to race as he struggled to come to grips with what was happening.
"It's either he's going to let me go, or this is where I'm going to die, and I really thought this is it, I'm going to die and this is where. I can't believe I'm going to die in a whale's mouth."
The commercial diver says his mind turned to his family, thinking of his sons, wife, and mother.
Then he began to worry that the ordeal may last longer. "I thought it was just over and then I thought, 'well, what if I just stay in here and until I run out of air?'"
Because Packard had on scuba gear he could still breathe, despite the whale's strong jaws constricting him and causing considerable pain. "I could be in here another half an hour.
"(The whale was) just swimming along and I'm like "Oh my God.'"
Packard says that it was somewhere between 30 to 40 seconds that he was inside the whale's closed mouth, struggling to get out.
"And then all of a sudden I saw light. There was white water everywhere and all of a sudden I was thrown from his mouth. He was shaking his head trying to eject me out of his mouth and I got thrown and the last thing I saw was his tail going down and there I was, just laying on the surface."
Packard's mate pulled him onto their boat after seeing him get ejected from the whale's mouth.
"As soon as I landed in the water and was floating there in excruciating pain, I was like 'Oh my God, I'm alive. I actually got out of that. I didn't think I was going to get out. I was convinced that was it."
He was taken to hospital where doctors determined he had a dislocated knee and extensive soft tissue damage. However, Packard says he plans to be back diving for lobster as soon as he can.