Snorkeler Survives Getting Swept Into Whale’s Mouth

Rainer Schimpf has video proof of his close encounter.

A whale tracks the annual sardine run, the biggest migration of marine wildlife on the planet,on March 7, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
A whale tracks the annual sardine run, the biggest migration of marine wildlife on the planet,on March 7, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
By Ethan Sacks / March 11, 2019 6:11 pm

It’s a whale of a tale, but Rainer Schimpf has video proof of his close encounter with one of the largest mammals on Earth.

The 51-year-old conservationist was swept into the mouth of a 55-foot-long Bryde’s whale off the coast of the South African town of Port Elizabeth while snorkeling last month.

“I felt some pressure around my waist and I immediately knew what had happened,” he later told reporters. “[It] accidentally included me in its mouth together with its main meal – the sardines.”

Schimpf was only in the whale’s mouth for a few seconds and emerged unharmed.

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