‘I was completely inside’: Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown

PROVINCETOWN — At a little before 8 a.m. on June 11, 2021, veteran lobster diver Michael Packard entered the water for his second dive of the day. His vessel, the “Ja’n J,” was off Herring Cove Beach, surrounded by a fleet of boats catching striped bass. The water temperature was a balmy 60 degrees and the visibility was about 20 feet.

Lobster diver Michael Packard, 56, of Wellfleet, gives the thumbs up Friday morning from Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he was taken after he was injured in an encounter with a humpback whale Provincetown. He was later released from the hospital.

Licensed commercial lobster divers literally pluck lobsters off the sandy bottom, and as Packard, 56, dove Friday morning, he saw schools of sand lances and stripers swimming by. The ocean food chain was in full evidence, but about 10 feet from the bottom Packard suddenly knew what it truly felt like to be part of that chain. That’s because Packard was swallowed whole by a humpback whale.