PE Diver Narrowly Avoids Being Swallowed By Whale

Minnie Murray
March 12, 2019

Rainer Schimpf was snorkeling in the water by South Africa's Port Elizabeth Harbour when a Bryde's whale took him into his mouth, and while it was undoubtedly terrifying, it also made him realise how insignificant humans are in this world.

"It happened very fast".

Fortunately, nearly as soon as the unfortunate gulp began, Schimpf said, the whale released its jaw, allowing him to slip free to the surface. According to the story, Jonah remained for three days in the body of a huge fish, praying and apologizing to God for his mistakes, until he was expelled alive by the marine species.

"The next moment, it got dark and I felt some pressure on my hip". Barely two weeks after a man was allegedly raised from the dead in "miracle" reminiscent of Jesus and Lazarus, another man survived after being spat out by a whale in a scene reminiscent of the biblical Jonah.

In his more than 15 years running diving tours, Schimpf had never encountered a situation quite like this.

The 51-year-old's fellow dive teachers said his incident with the whale was undoubtably an accident.


"There was no time for fear or any emotion", he told The Telegraph.

"Whales are no man-eaters", witness Claudia Weber-Gebert told Barcroft Animals in an interview. Yet, we're told our whole lives, oh, they're gentle giants, they're actually pretty chill, just think about that movie FreeWilly With that kind of size difference, though, intention doesn't matter. This was no attack, it was not the fault of the whale, and they are really sensitive.

The diver is still keen to get back into the water.

"My hard-won experience kicked in and I instantly held my breath, thinking that the whale would instinctively dive down again before spitting me out somewhere in the depths of the Indian Ocean".

The type of whale involved was a Bryde's whale, which is a baleen-feeder that eats mostly plankton.

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