Mar 12, 2019 by Alyssa Duvall

WATCH: Diver Is "Eaten" And Spat Out By A Giant Whale Like A Modern-Day Jonah

I won't assume that literally being gobbled up by a whale was a trial sent from the hand of God to South African diver Rainer Schimpf, but his modern-day Jonah experience is still pretty amazing.

Schimpf, a 15-year veteran diver, was documenting a breathtaking marine event called the “sardine run” in which billions of fish spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank and head north along the coast of South Africa. In their "run," the sardines are followed by hordes of hungry predators who see them as fast food. In this year's run, however, Schimpf found himself on the menu of a gargantuan Bryde’s Whale.

“I was trying to get a shot of a shark,” Schimpf said, explaining the incident to Barcroft TV. “It all happened very fast. The next moment, it got dark and I felt some pressure on my hip. Once I felt the pressure, I instantly knew that the whale had grabbed me.”

When the massive whale had attempted to eat him, Schimpf said there was “no time for fear” as he fought for his survival. “Nothing can prepare you for when you end up inside the whale,” he said; it's a matter of “pure instinct”.

Schimpf explained that the moment he was nabbed by the whale, he instinctively held his breath: “My thought was now he is going to dive down and release me much deeper in the ocean."

Unlike with the prophet Jonah, however, this particular whale decided not to swallow Schimpf. Instead, it mercifully spat him out after a moment or two of deciding whether or not it could handle making a meal of the 51-year-old diver.

“The next moment, I felt that the whale was turning and the pressure was released,” Schimpf recalled. “Then I was washed out of the mouth and came back up onto the surface, where surely I wasn’t looking too clever!”

“I guess, for the whale, it was also scary,” laughed Claudia Weber-Gebert, a witness to the incident.

“Once you’re grabbed by something that’s 15 tons heavy and very fast in the water,” Rainer told Sky News, “you realize you’re actually only that small in the middle of the ocean.”

Praise God this man was able to escape unharmed. What an incredible miracle.

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