A diver by the name of Rainer Schimpf has miraculously survived being swept into the mouth of a Bryde whale – and it was all captured by a spectating photographer.
Recalling the dramatic incident to an episode of webseries “Snapped in the Wild” from Barcroft TV, he said he had been in the water trying to film a shark cruising through a giant school of sardines. “The next moment,” he recalls, “it got dark, and I felt some pressure on my hip.”
With his years of experience, Schimpf says he knew he had been caught by a whale instantly, and remained calm in the face of an impossible situation. Thinking quickly, he took a deep breath and prepared to be dragged underwater. Seconds later, he was released from the grip of the whale’s mouth.
In the video, Schimpf’s wife explains that at 15-20 tonnes, these whales can do serious damage if you come into contact with their flippers or tail. “We were all unaware of how the situation would end,” she recalls.
Photographer Heinz Toperczer was on hand to capture the scene as it happened. His images can be seen in the clip above, which has amassed almost 10 million views since it was uploaded a little more than a week ago.