51-year-old dive tour operator Rainer Schimpf recounts the harrowing and yet amazing story of how he was recently almost swallowed by a Bryde’s whale off the coast of Port Elizabeth.
Schimpf describes how he and his colleagues were documenting the annual sardine run snorkelling close to Port Elizabeth harbour when Bryde’s whale took him into his mouth.
These gentle giants and sensitive creatures, and it was not an attack as these whales are not man-eaters.
Schimpf speaks to CapeTalk's Lester Kiewit and says as the whale came up from the ocean with its mouths open to feed on fish, it mistakenly sucked him into its enormous mouth.
You react with pure instinct.— Rainer Schimpf, Diver
Fortunately, our gentle giant of the ocean, which are extremely sensitive, he also realised that something's not lekker there, he slightly opened his jaw, pushed out the water by swallowing the fish down with his throat, and by pushing the water through the Baylin, I was out as well.— Rainer Schimpf, Diver
Listen to his incredible story below as he describes exactly what happened:
Here is the video of the moment: