Posted on Mar 12, 2019

There is a story about Prophet Jonah in the Old Testament, who has been swallowed by a big fish but stayed alive. The same accident happened with South African diver Rainer Schimpf.

A whale swallowed the diver at the South African coast, Port Elizabeth.

However, it immediately spat the man back into the ocean. Rainer said that the whale had no intention to eat him at all.

Diver Survives After Being Swallowed by Whale in South Africa


51-year-old photographer and tour operator was shot at the photo at the moment of the incident. The man had big experience in the diving sphere, but even he was shocked and scared at that moment, it was impossible to be prepared for such things.

The incident occurred about 46 km from the coast. Rainer used to dive often in these places as he shot dolphins, dark sharks, gannets, penguins, cormorants, and sardine gulls in the waters near South Africa.

That very day Schimpf went with tourists to watch the huge shoals of sardines that sailed north to the ocean.

The man remarked: he even didn’t see the whale because was concentrating on sharks as he tried to take a photo. Even more, he didn’t expect danger from a whale.

At some point, the water suddenly began to seethe and the whale appeared on the surface. According to the photographer, everything around unexpectedly became dark, he could not see anything and was out of breath, but felt some pressure on his hips. It even seemed that the mammal was pulling Rainer to the bottom.

Schimpf’s colleague remained on the ship, watched with horror what was happening, but took several pictures of the incident.

The guide acted quickly and managed to get out of the whale’s mouth. Schimpf himself was not injured.

The diver was able to escape from captivity only because of his 15-years-experience, which helped him to keep calm and not to panic. He independently swam to shore.

After the incident his family has stated that whales are not “cannibals”, but “gentle animals”, which are very sensitive.

The guide said, that he became someone like “an inside man” and it gave him a connection to the whale, which no one had before because that was the first such situation in history. Schimpf supposed, that for the whale it was also a surprise.

“It was an interesting experience for me, but surely not that thing I would want to do again”, – concluded Rainer.

It was Bryde’s whale. This animal species is a member of the baleen whale family, like blue whales and humpback whales. Bryde’s whales inhabit in warm waters, in the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Pacific oceans.

In the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration remarked, that this species is named after Norwegian Johan Bryde. He created the first whaling stations in South Africa at the beginning of the XX century.

Whales weigh about 90,000 pounds and grow to a length of 55 feet. They raven upon krill, red crabs, shrimp and a variety of schooling fishes. Maybe, that’s why the diver wasn’t to whale’s taste.

And what to do you think, could the whale injure the man?

Being a journalist is not only my profession but true purpose. I believe that there are no bad thing is our life, but only bad approach to them. If you look with positive on every situation, it will definitely change for the better.