The real-life Jonah! Incredible moment a diver is spat out by a WHALE after getting sucked in as the giant beast feasted on sardines
- Rainer Schimpf, 51, from South Africa, set off to document a natural sardine run off Port Elizabeth Harbour
- The deep sea diver found the water around him churning and felt that he had been grabbed by a Bryde whale
- The whale soon spat the diver out and he was able to swim back to safety as his crew watched on in shock
This is the incredible moment a deep sea diver escaped being feasted on by a Bryde whale after he was sucked into the large mammal’s mouth.
Director of Dive Expert Tours Rainer Schimpf, 51, from South Africa, had set off with his team of divers to document a sardine run when events took a surprising turn off Port Elizabeth Harbour, east of Cape Town.
In a situation reminiscent to the Old Testament’s Jonah and the whale, Mr Schimpf was left facing a potentially fatal outcome as he entered the inside of the large creature’s mouth.
Mr Schimpf and his team, who had split into two groups, had been documenting a natural event which sees the likes of gannets, penguins, seals, dolphins, whales and sharks come together to capture large quantities of fish.
Deep sea diver and dive tour operator Rainer Schimpf, 51, from South Africa, is sucked into the mouth of a Bryde whale along Port Elizabeth Harbour
The dive tour operator is sucked into the mamma’s mouth as he is documenting a sardine run along the eastern coast of South Africa
Mr Schimpf is left facing the inside of the large whale’s mouth as he and his team set out to document an event which sees sea creatures gather fish into bait balls
Diver Rainer Schimpf told Barcroft TV : ‘I could feel the pressure on my hip, there is no time for fear in a situation like that – you have to use your instinct’
The team were 25 nautical miles from shore when the sea suddenly began to churn and Mr Schimpf was swallowed into the mouth of the beast like the Bible’s Jonah.
During the biblical story, Jonah is tossed into the water during a storm and stuck in the belly of the beast for three days before he is thrown up onto the shores of Nineveh.
Following the incredible incident, Mr Schimpf told Barcroft TV that he had been trying to film a shark going through a bait ball when his surroundings suddenly became dark and he felt the large whale grab hold of his body.
He told Barcroft TV: ‘I could feel the pressure on my hip, there is no time for fear in a situation like that – you have to use your instinct.’
Mr Schimpf added: ‘Nothing can actually prepare you for the event when you end up inside the whale – it’s pure instinct.
‘I held my breath because I thought he is going to dive down and release me much deeper in the ocean, it was pitch black inside.’
As the experienced diver, who has been a dive tour operator for more than 15 years, was sucked into the whale’s mouth, his colleague and photographer Heinz Toperczer kept the camera focused on Mr Schimpf and watched on in horror from the team’s boat.
Photographer Heinz Toperczer kept the camera focused on Mr Schimpf and watched on in horror from the team’s boat
As Mr Schimpf tried to capture footage of a shark he could feel the water around him churn and felt the large mammal grab hold of him
The Bryde whale slashes around in the water as it accidentally sucks diver Rainer Schimpf into its mouth off the coast of South Africa
Mr Schimpf and his team in the ocean after the diver is released from the Bryde Whale’s mouth. The team had set out to the harbour to document a sardine run
He later described how he saw dolphins leap out of the water and a white spray erupt from the top of the whale as his colleague was swallowed by the sea animal.
After being spewed out of the creature’s mouth, Mr Schimpf was able to swim back to his boat unharmed.
Bryde Whales are known to grow up to 40-55 feet in length and are typically found in Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific ocean.
The whales are usually dark grey and can dive to depths of 300 metres.