Man Nearly Gets Eaten By Whale - And Lives To Tell The Tale
12 March, 2019, 05:59 | Author: Donnie King
The 51-year-old marine conservationist was swept into the mouth of a large Bryde's whale off the coast of the southern South African town of Port Elizabeth while filming a sardine run last month.
"Once you're grabbed by something that's 15 tons heavy and very fast in the water, you realize you're actually only that small in the middle of the ocean", Schimpf said. Hair-like strands called baleen hanging from the whale's jaw trap tiny animals inside their mouths. All three have been swallowed by whales.
"The next moment I kind of felt the whale was turning either way, and the pressure was released, and then I was washed out of the mouth", said Schimpf.
After being spat out by the mammoth creature, Schimpf said he easy swam to the surface with the help of his Seacam Underwater Housing and his Xcel dive suit.
"Nothing can actually prepare you for the event when you end up inside the whale", Schimpf told News.com.au about the freaky experience, "and then it's pure instinct".
This representative photo shows a mother Bryde's whale (front) and her calf feeding on anchovies in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Samut Sakhon province, November 20, 2016. I noticed when I felt pressure on the hip.
"There was no time for fear or any emotion", he told The Daily Telegraph. "They are really sensitive, they are gentle giants, and it was just an accident". But one diver from South Africa got a little too close for comfort during a recent ocean expedition.
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"Had it been a shark it would have been two of me, and I don't think that I would have seen anything again", Mr Schimpf later told 9News.
Bryde's whales are known to dive up to 1,000 feet, which is why he held his breath. They have an average length of 12 metres and feed on fish, crustaceans and octopus, not people.
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