Diver almost swallowed by Whale – Watch Video
Tour Operator Rainer Schimpf was filming the annual sardine run when a 15m Bryde’s whale attacked a ball of fish below him.
Luckily the giant mammal swerved at the last moment to avoid sucking him into its gaping mouth – but it still gave him a shock as it breached just yards away.
He said: “I saw him coming up and I thought ‘that’s it for me’. The diameter of his mouth was big enough to swallow a car – he would have barely felt me going in.”
The incident occurred off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, during the annual sardine run.
47 year old Rainer was out with guests and his wife, Silke, who managed to take a photo as the whale breached just yards from her husband.
The sardine run sees billions of the tiny fish migrating up the east coast of Africa – attracting sharks, dolphins, diving birds and whales – including the massive Bryde’s whales.
Rainer kept his distance from the giant mammal but was left helpless when it emerged from the depths to swallow a mass of sardines (known as a bait ball).
He said: “There was a little bait ball below me and a group of sharks. It was only when the sharks scattered that I realised a whale was coming up directly at me.
“At the last moment he must have realised I was there and he diverted away from me and actually missed most of the bait ball.
“Had he not diverted he would have swallowed me whole.”
He added: “Years ago there was a story about a guy who was swallowed by a sperm whale. His friends managed to snare the whale and cut it open and found he was still alive inside. However, he was bleached white and blinded by the animal’s stomach acid.”
Bryde’s whales feed on plankton, crustaceans and schools of fish, which they engulf in their huge mouths, and can be found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world.
Rainer, who hails from Germany, believes this is first time someone has captured one of them attacking a bait ball at this angle.
Watch this video of the incident:
[youtube id=”a-Ph1CWYivg” width=”100%” height=”400px”]
Midlands Diving Chamber donates £20k to Bite-Back
Hyperbaric and dive medical experts, Midlands Diving Chamber (MDC), has underpinned its long-term support of Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation with a one-off donation of £20,000, as the Rugby-based diving doctors wind down the charitable side of its operation.
The donation represents the single biggest financial contribution made to Bite-Back, delivering a huge boost to its campaigns to end the UK trade in shark products.
Spokesperson for Midlands Diving Chamber, Sally Cartwright, said: “For years we’ve admired and supported the ground-breaking work that Bite-Back is doing to save, protect and celebrate sharks. It’s a genuine pleasure to help ensure it stays at the forefront of shark conservation in the UK.”
Midland Diving Chamber first supported the charity at the inaugural Bite-Back at Cancer event in 2007 and then annually for the next six years. It even hosted its own James Bond-themed party on the Thames to fundraise for the marine NGO.
Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “We can’t thank MDC enough for its continued support and now for this massive contribution to our pioneering shark conservation campaigns. It makes us very proud that the country’s premier diving medical experts have chosen to back our campaigns that extend from parliament to primary schools. This financial windfall will allow us to continue to lead the shark conservation agenda in the UK and deliver measurable shark conservation breakthroughs to keep the oceans healthy.”
Bite-Back’s No Fin To Declare campaign to end the UK’s import and export of shark fins is now just months away from achieving Royal Ascent into law and, earlier this month it launched a free 56-page teaching resource for Key Stage 2 & 3 students on the importance of sharks and the threats they face.
Midlands Diving Chamber is based at St. Cross Hospital in Rugby and operates a hyperbaric decompression chamber offering NHS funded recompression to divers with Decompression Illness (DCI) together with other Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatments. Any diver with medical concerns should contact MDC on either 01788 579 555 or 07931 472 602.
Find out more about Bite-Back at http://www.bite-back.com/
Marine Life & Conservation
Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)
Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.
Many of the issues the ocean faces are out of sight, but the science is clear, the ocean is in crises from multiple stressors; climate change, pollution and over-fishing. We’re not moving fast enough, not even close.
Live Ocean Foundation supports exceptional marine scientists, innovators and communicators who play a vital role in the fight for a healthy future.
Thanks to generous core donors who cover their operating costs, 100% of public donations go directly towards the marine conservation projects they support.
Find out more at https://liveocean.com/foundation/
WATCH THE REAL WATERGATE AT https://www.realwatergate.com/
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