The Cape Cod lobster diver who was held in a humpback whale’s mouth off Provincetown was on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ on Wednesday to tell the story.
Michael Packard, 56, of Wellfleet, says he was swallowed by a humpback whale off the coast of Provincetown last Friday morning. He was picking lobsters off the ocean floor off Herring Cove Beach when the incident happened. He and his colleague Josiah Mayo, who joined him on the show to tell the story, explained that they started the day as normal, doing a couple of dives and collecting lobster together. However, when Packard went down for the next dive, Mayo saw him drift away from the boat and knew something was wrong. He originally assumed it was a shark attack, but then saw whale parts and Packard’s feet as he attempted to escape it.
Packard estimates that was he inside the whale’s mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds before he was thrown from his mouth. He was able to breathe while inside due to the scuba gear that he had on, but the water was rushing in fast and it felt like he was in a car or a submarine. “I was struggling, and banging, and kicking, and just thinking… there’s no way I’m going to get out of this unless he decides to let me go,” Packard recalls about the incident. Once he resurfaced, Mayo first called 911 and then called Packard’s wife to explain what had just happened.
Crazy enough, Kimmel noted that this was actually not Packard’s first near death experience. In the past, he has survived a plane crash with fatalities, been face-to-face with great white sharks and discovered a body in the ocean.
“I want to apologize to the whale for getting in his way and I wont ever do it again,” Packard said jokingly. For the interview, Jimmy Kimmel’s team built him a throne designed as whale’s mouth for him to sit on. Watch the full video below!