Scuba Divers Almost Swallowed by Humpback Whales [VIDEO]

First Posted: Jul 23, 2013 12:59 PM EDT

A pair of Central California scuba divers experienced the thrill of a lifetime when they  escaped landing in the mouths of two humpback whales at Souza Rock, two miles off Morro Bay this weekend.

This encounter of the two dive instructors was caught on film by crew members who were aboard their diving boat.

The two divers, Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua, who were a part of the SloDivers charter, spotted the humpback whales feeding about a quarter mile away from them. They had got into the water with their snorkeling gear and cameras to catch some action.


"We were just floating around in the water, hoping to get some shots of the whales in the distance, when all of a sudden the sardines started going crazy. I was right in the middle of the meatball, " said Stamback, one of two divers in the footage.

The video has been edited to reveal the footage from the surface as well as underwater. In the terrifying video that lasts for less than two minutes, it can be seen how numerous sardines pop out of the water that had actually attracted the giant marine animals. Moments later it is seen how the two enormous humpback whales break through the surface scaring the divers who were extremely close to being swallowed by them.

Humpback whales weigh up to 40 tons. They are energetic hunters and feed on krill, small schooling fish such as salmons, herrings, pollocks and sardines. They mostly feed in oceans of Antarctica and in southern ocean. There has been a decline in the humpback population due to commercial whaling.

Monica DeAngelis, a mammal expert with the National Marine Fisheries Service could not determine from the video if the pair of divers were violating any laws.

"They certainly are lucky no one got hurt," she said. "In addition, they were clearly closer than the [100-yard] recommended guidelines."

Stamback believes that the two humpback whales were aware of his presence along with his friend but intentionally avoided them, because majority of the fish were clustered beneath them.

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