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06 June 2023

Man nearly eaten by whale found it enlightening

By Bang

A tour operator who was almost swallowed by a whale says the experience was enlightening.

Rainer Schimpf was snorkeling in the water by South Africa's Port Elizabeth Harbour when a Bryde's whale took him into his mouth, and while it was undoubtedly terrifying, it also made him realise how insignificant humans are in this world.

He told Sky News: "Once you're grabbed by something that's 15 tonnes heavy and very fast in the water, you realise you're actually only that small in the middle of the ocean."

The 51-year-old was engulfed by the whale who was up to 15m long and weighed 20 tonnes.

Rainer said he and two others had been in the water for two or three minutes when the whale caught him, and he had a lucky escape.

He said: "Obviously he realised I was not what he wanted to eat so he spat me out again."