This is a Pinocchio story that could have been taken for granted if not considered credible by whale experts: a Massachusetts lobster fisherman was briefly “swallowed” by a humpback whale on Friday, before being thrown back into the sea, able to tell his story alive.
“I felt this huge blow, everything turned black.”
“Hello everyone, I want to clarify what happened to me today,” wrote fisherman Michael Packard, originally from Provincetown, 200 miles east of Boston, after a local newspaper told the Cape Cod Times story. “I was diving for crabs when a humpback whale tried to eat me. I kept my mouth shut for 30 to 40 seconds before it came to the surface and spat me out. I have no wounds in it, but no bones. I thank the Bravinstown rescuers for their care and assistance.” He wrote briefly after being admitted to the hospital.
When asked by local CBSN Boston channel, Michael Backard said, “Suddenly, I felt this big blow, everything was black,” when he was 13 meters deep. He first thought he had been bitten by a shark. But as he continued to breathe, thanks to his dive regulator, he had no teeth and no major pain. “So I felt, ‘God, I’m in the mouth of a whale, it’s trying to swallow me.’
“I thought, ‘This is (…), I’m going to die.’ I thought about my kids, my wife, there was really no way out of it.Suddenly she exploded on the surface, started shaking her head and I was blown into the air and into the water.I was free, I was floating … I could not believe I got out of it. I’m here. “
A worthy witness to the faith
Michael Packard is believed to have had at least one witness, and is credible: Josiah Mayo, who went with him on this fisherman and followed him, up to the bubbles, from their boat. He was the one who helped rescue him and called the rescuers for help. Josiah Mayo, one of the whale researchers and experts at the Coastal Research Center in Provincetown, the region where whales feed this season, is the director of Center Humpback Whale Research.
“I know those involved (…) so I have every reason to believe what they say is true,” he said. Although she did not see anything and was not sure what had happened, she (although) had never heard of such an “accident”, “(the fisherman) may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.
“Their mouth is too wide”, but “their throat is too narrow”
When these whales search for food, he explains, “They open their mouths and charge, swallowing fish and water very quickly, and then discard the water through their palate, which” acts like a filter. “” Their mouths are very wide, “but” their throats are very In short, they have no way to swallow anything big like a big man, “he continued. , She opened her mouth to let him out “.
Although we do not know all the details, for this expert, one conclusion is correct: when looking at tourists returning after 15 months of epidemics in Provincetown and the Cape Cod area, it is “important for people to know” about this powerful sea of mammals, usually 9 to 15 meters in age. Are measured. “If you see a whale, keep a safe distance. It’s important to give the whales some space,” Juke Robbins warned.