SA's Own "Jonah" Survives After Being "Swallowed" By A Whale

SA's Own

Fortunately for Mr Schimpf... A dive tour operator has described how he survived getting swallowed by a whale off the coast of South Africa.

"I felt some pressure, then I instantly knew a whale had grabbed me", Mr Schimpf told local network Barcroft TV. "I was busy concentrating on the sharks because you want to know if the shark is in front of you or behind you, left or right, so we were very focused on the sharks and their behavior - then suddenly it got dark". He had happened to be with a group recording a sardine run, which is where marine animals such as dolphins, whales, and sharks gather fish into bait balls.

A photographer who witnessed the dramatic scene from a nearby boat immediately began snapping away, capturing everything but Schimpf's legs vanishing inside the whale.

Rainer Schimpf was diving in waters off Port Elizabeth last month when a Bryde's whale got a little too close for comfort.

He's lucky it didn't ― Bryde's whales, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, can dive for five to 15 minutes and can reach depths of up to 1,000 feet.

Rainer Schimpf was attempting to film a sardine run when the whale shot up from the depths
DAVID WHITE STUFFRainer Schimpf was attempting to film a sardine run when the whale shot up from the depths

Incredibly, the experience barely knocked the wind out of him, and after checking he had no injuries, he dived back into the water in search of the bait ball.

"The next moment I felt the whale was turning either way, and the pressure was released, and I was washed out of the mouth", Mr Schimpf said.

"Obviously he realised I was not what he wanted to eat so he spat me out again".

"Seconds decide if you become prey, seconds decide your survival and seconds are all that counts".

Meanwhile, a pod of killer whales with distinctive round faces has fuelled speculation among scientists of a new species.

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