On Friday morning, Packard dived into the sea. He was catching lobster. As he was about to examine a trap tens of meters deep at the bottom, a whale swam. He breathed.
Suddenly I felt a huge wave. After that everything was black. I felt myself move and felt his mouth muscles contract.” At first he thought he was still in a white shark. But he didn’t feel a tooth and was unhurt. Seconds later, it dawned on him that he had swallowed.
“I was totally obsessed with her. She was completely black,” Packard told the Cape Cod Times, a news outlet from his hometown. “I thought: I’m never going out of here. I was there. I couldn’t help but think of my young children, ages 12 to 15.”
Miraculously, Packard is able to retell his story. His parents are also aware. “She was in the mouth for thirty to forty seconds,” Fisherman’s mother, 56, well-known area painter Ann Packard, told the Miami Herald.
Humpback whale in an archive photo.
After visiting the hospital, television reporters approached him. Packard spoke of his agony. “I realized I was in the mouth of a whale,” he said. “And he tried to swallow me.”
But mysteriously, he spat again without serious injury – clean at the surface of the water. “He didn’t even break a bone,” his mother says. “He was incredibly lucky.”
‘Maybe a rescue attempt’
According to marine expert Peter Corkeron of the New England Aquarium, humpback whales do not prey on humans. They filter large amounts of water to obtain food possible using baleen. Packard was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time while diving.
Crab fishing is already exciting, but for Packard, it took Friday to a whole new level.
Ⓒ private photo
Humpback whales are sometimes described as “altruistic” toward humans. So they are anything but evil. Corkeron does not rule out the possibility that the whale deliberately brought Hunter Packard to the surface to spit it out, the Herald wrote.
“It’s good to imagine he was trying to help him,” Packard said.
However, this is not Packard Houdini’s first act, says his mother. Years ago, he once had a plane crash in Costa Rica while hunting. He came out of the wreck on his own. “I think he’s blessed,” says Anne Packard. “It’s unbelievable.”
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