'I was completely inside': Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown
PROVINCETOWN — At a little before 8 a.m., Friday, veteran lobster diver Michael Packard entered the water for his second dive of the day.
His vessel, “the J ‘an J,” was right off Herring Cove Beach and surrounded by a fleet of boats catching striped bass. The water temperature was a balmy 60 degrees and he estimated the visibility he estimated at 20 feet.
Lobster divers literally pluck lobsters off the sandy bottom, and as he dove down, he saw schools of sand lances and stripers swimming by. The ocean food chain was in full evidence, but about 35 feet down, 10 feet from the bottom, he entered that food chain in a startling and rare way.
“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” Packard recalled Friday afternoon following his release from Cape Cod Hospital. “I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth.”
Initially, Packard thought he was inside a great white shark, but he couldn’t feel …
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