Incredible moment diver is almost swallowed whole by whale


Incredible footage has emerged of a diver nearly being swallowed whole by a whale.

Rainer Schimpf, 51, was diving in waters off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in February when he found himself nearly swallowed by a Bryde’s whale, which scooped him up.

He told Barcroft TV he was attempting to get a shot of a shark when things went dark.

“I felt some pressure when I instantly knew a whale had grabbed me,” he told the network.

Rainer Schimpf, 51, was diving in waters off Port Elizabeth, South African in February when he found himself nearly swallowed by a Bryde’s whale. Source: Heinz Toperczer/ Barcroft Media

Photographer Heinz Toperczer, who was with the diver on board a nearby ship, said he noticed the water churn up before “a whale appeared and grabbed him”.

Mr Schimpf said he believed the whale would either swim off and release him underwater or simply swallow him.

Luckily, the whale did neither and spat him up immediately.

He added it was an accident on the whale’s behalf but gave him a “connection” to large mammal.

A Bryde’s whale is seen at Gulf of Thailand, Petchaburi province, Thailand. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

“It happened extremely fast,” he said.

“I don’t think I had a ‘whale’ of a time, but the inside knowledge of what a whale is like.”

The largest measured Bryde’s whale was 15.51m off Saldanha Bay, South Africa in 1977.

Fortunately for Mr Schimpf, Bryde’s whales don’t eat people either and largely feast on fish, planktonic crustaceans and cephlapods.

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