whale tale

Lobster Diver Q&A: Who the Man Swallowed Up by a Whale Wants to Play Him in a Movie

Asked about the reaction to his story at the Cape Cod hospital where he was taken and treated, Michael Packard said that one nurse “asked me for lottery numbers!”

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The Massachusetts lobster diver recovering from injuries received when he was improbably swallowed up, then spit out, by a humpback whale on Friday is having a bit of fun with his newfound fame.

Michael Packard held a question-and-answer session on Reddit Saturday with the help of his son, letting users ask him anything. And they did, including who Packard wants to play him in a future movie about his encounter.

That would be Massachusetts native Matt Damon, prompting one user to quip that the movie should be called, "Not-So-Good Whale Hunting."

Asked about the reaction to his story at the Cape Cod hospital where he was taken and treated, Packard said that one nurse “asked me for lottery numbers!”

Massachusetts commercial lobster diver Michael Packard thought he was going to die after a humpback whale swallowed him into its mouth in 45 feet of water off Cape Cod. But he survived.

Did he try to communicate with the whale? “I don’t think it would have been in the mood to converse with me at the time,” Packard joked.

Nor did he find any lobsters inside the whale's mouth.

Both Packard and his son, Jacob, gave serious answers as well, including about what happened to him underwater and how the teenager found out his father was hurt. Jacob said Packard is adamant the whale couldn't have actually swallowed him, as in gulped him into its stomach, and that's a common misconception about what happened.

The lobster diver gave consistent answers with what he told NBC10 Boston and other reports: he was in the whale's mouth for 30-40 seconds and thought he might die, before being launched out of the creature's mouth onto the surface of the ocean, where his diving mate picked him up.

Experts have said the encounter was rare, and likely a complete accident. The Provincetown harbormaster said at first he didn't believe what he was hearing when he got the call about the incident.

Packard has had other near-death experiences -- he was in a deadly plane crash in Costa Rica in 2001, which he called "a close second" to the whale encounter n terms of craziest things that have ever happened to him.

Jacob, who was relaying the questions to his dad, was asked how he'll top his father's story. His answer: "Swallowing a whale."

A man lived to tell a whale of a tale after spending at least 30 seconds in the mouth of a humpback. The TEN explores his story, looks at previous whale encounters and explains why it's no surprise the animal spat him out.
NBC/The Associated Press
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