We’ve probably all heard of the story of Jonah and the whale! In the ancient story, a whale swallows up Jonah and spits him out on the seashore three days later. While that may seem like a whale of a tale, something strikingly similar just happened off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts!
Michael Packard is a 56-year-old commercial lobster diver who often works off the coast of Cape Cod. Lobsters like the cold water of the north and it takes a skilled diver to head into the water to find their hiding holes and snatch them out! Cape Cod Times describes divers as:“… a tough breed. They brave the cold waters off Provincetown to grab migrating lobsters off a sandy shelf when they emerge from an adjacent deep channel scoured out by the powerful current rounding Race Point.”
While lobsters are the primary goal of lobster divers, the ocean has lots of other creatures looking for a tasty snack.Michael was diving off the coast of Provincetown recently when he had a run-in with a sea-creature a little bit bigger than your average fish. In fact, it’s one of the largest animals to ever live. While diving that Friday morning, Michael encountered a humpback whale.
It happened suddenly and the interaction wasn’t all that great for Michael.
Michael was down 45 feet below the surface, looking for lobsters when the encounter occurred. He was minding his own business when he felt a huge bump and everything went black.
“Then I felt around, and I realized there was no teeth and I had felt, really, no great pain,” he said. “And then I realized, ‘Oh my God, I’m in a whale’s mouth. I’m in a whale’s mouth, and he’s trying to swallow me.’ “
Incredibly, the humpback whale had scooped him up and was carrying him around in his mouth. Thankfully, his scuba equipment was still intact and all he could do was sit there and wait. He wasn’t sure he was going to make it out alive and his thoughts turned to his wife and kids.
After 40 seconds, the whale finally surfaced and decided it didn’t like the taste of lobster diver!
“I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water,” Packard recalled. “And I was free, and I just floated there … I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I got out of that.”
In biblical fashion, Michael was thrown into the air like a toy and was seen by the crew. As he was pulled in, they were shocked at what they had just witnessed.
“I saw Mike come flying out of the water, feet first with his flippers on, and land back in the water,” Francis told WBZ-TV. “I jumped aboard the boat. We got him up, got his tank off. Got him on the deck and calmed him down and he goes, ‘Joe, I was in the mouth of a whale.’ “