A diver was photographing sharks when the water beneath him started to churn, “everything went dark” and a whale swallowed him whole.
A diver was swimming off the coast of South Africa to photograph sharks when “everything went dark” and he quickly realized a whale had swallowed him whole. South African photographer and dive tour operator Rainer Schimpf, 51, was off the coast at Port Elizabeth when he looked down and realised a mammoth Bryde’s whale was getting a little too close for comfort.
The sea around him started to churn into a dark mess, and he quickly found himself inside the whale. “Nothing can actually prepare you for the event when you end up inside the whale and then its pure instinct,” Mr Schimpf said.
Mr Schimpf has been working as a dive tour operator in the town for more than 15 years and documents the sardine run every year. The diver was trying to get a photo of a shark going through a bait ball when it “all happened very fast. It got dark, I felt some pressure on my hip, and I instantly knew a whale had grabbed me,” he said. “I could not imagine how the whale had grabbed me or was holding me, but I instantly knew it had grabbed me because of the pressure on my hip. There is no time for fear in a situation like that, you have to use your instinct.”
Mr Schimpf instantly held his breath, fearing the whale was going to dive down with him and spit him out deep below the surface. Bryde’s whales can weigh up to 20 thousand kilos or 20 tons, which is 44,092.452 pounds. Other dive tour operators, who witnessed the terrifying event, admitted even getting bumped by one of the mammal’s flippers could easily break ribs.
“The next moment I felt the whale was turning either way, and the pressure was released, and I was washed out of the mouth,” Mr Schimpf said. “I came back up onto the surface where surely I wasn’t looking too clever.”
The 51-year-old’s fellow dive teachers said his incident with the whale was undoubtedly an accident. “As they come up with their mouths open, they can’t see what is in front of them, and I guess the whale thought it was a dolphin,” diver Claudia Weber-Gebert said.
“Whales are not man-eaters. This was no attack, it was not the fault of the whale, and they are really sensitive. They are gentle giants, and it was just an accident.”
The diver is still keen to get back into the water.
The Yucatan Times
more recommended stories
Cuba still welcomes American tourists despite Trump restrictions
VARADERO, Cuba (AP) — The battle.
Guatemalan teen dies at Border Patrol station, 5th minor to die in US custody in 6 months
PHOENIX – A 16-year-old boy diagnosed.
Cruise the ocean with gourmet food, craft cocktails and the best of the digital world
PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO — We’re.
Come to the Yucatan…
Standing barefoot on a wooden jetty.
Is the State Secretary of Public Security on his way out?
According to an unofficial source close.
Real estate “Boom” would raise the population of Mérida to two million before 2030
“The city of Mérida would increase.
Camazotz: the Maya Batman
In Maya mythology there is a.
Ochoa-Lopez murder: Baby boy cut from mother’s womb opens eyes for the first time
A baby boy, cut from his.
Yucatán beekeepers to receive more and better support from state government
The Yucatan state government and apicultural.
AMLO orders end to corporate tax breaks in Mexico
MEXICO CITY, May 20 (Reuters) –.