Diver gets swallowed by whale, comes out alive to narrate the incident

Diver gets swallowed by whale, comes out alive to narrate the incident

A diver is lucky to be alive after a large whale picked him up in its mouth during an expedition off South Africa's coast.

A Port Elizabeth Tour operator has narrowly escaped with his life after almost being swallowed by a whale.

However, Schmipf seems in high spirits about the incident.

I reckon the whale was just as shocked as Rainer.

A real-life Moby Dick situation!

One minute he was snorkeling; the next, he had been scooped up by a whale.

"There was no time for fear or any emotion", he told The Telegraph.

"Pick me up and throw me into the sea", Jonah said in the famous Biblical narrative, "and it will become calm".

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But the whale decided not to swallow Rainer, as was the case in the tale of Jonah. I knew instantly that a whale had caught me, "the diver told Barcroft TV". As is clearly shown in the footage below, Schimpf had accidentally wound up in the mouth of a feeding Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni edeni).

"I now have inside knowledge of a whale which nobody else has", Schimpf concluded.

As he was snorkelling on the surface of the water off Port Elizabeth Harbour, a Bryde's whale emerged with its jaws open, engulfing him headfirst.

Heinz Toperczer, another photographer on a nearby boat was able to capture the wonderful footage of the terrifying encounter that has since been posted to Youtube.

They typically grow to more than 15m in length and feed on a variety of fish and plankton.

"As Rainer moved towards the bait ball, suddenly the water churned widely up, and I knew for sure that something was about to happen so I held the focus of my camera on him firmly", Toperczer said.

The whale that nearly swallowed Schimpf was a Bryde's Whale, which can grow up to 55 feet long and weigh up to 30 tons. "They are really sensitive, they are gentle giants, and it was just an accident". The whales have a diet that consists mainly of krill, red crabs, shrimp and a "variety of schooling fishes", but clearly not adult humans.

Meanwhile, a pod of killer whales with distinctive round faces has fuelled speculation among scientists of a new species.

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