Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/23/california_divers_nearly_devoured_by_lunging_humpback_whales/

Divers nearly DEVOURED by HUNGRY SEA BEASTS

California pair come thiiiis close to being humpback whale hors d'oeuvres

By Rik Myslewski

Posted in Bootnotes, 23rd July 2013 20:04 GMT

Video Two divers nearly relived the Jonah myth when a pair of humpback whales surfaced, jaws first, right next to them in a dining methodology that leviathan-lovers call "lunge feeding".

"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," one of the divers, Shawn Stamback, told Pete Thomas Outdoors.

Those prescient sardines were trying to escape the gaping maws of the whales as they lunged toward their school. Some of the sardines were likely not as lucky as Stamback and his diving partner Francis Antigua – humpbacks swallow great gulps of krill and small fish such as sardines, then expel the water that accompanies their catch through their baleen plates.

The two divers were killing some time during their charter dive, snorkeling in the water off the coast of central California's Morro Bay when the whales lunged toward the sardines – and them. Stamback said that he felt that the whales knew they were there, and intentionally avoided eating them.

According to Stamback, they had seen the whales about a quarter mile away, and brought their cameras with them into the drink. Fortunately, two of their compatriots were videotaping from the dive boat when the whales made their move.

We say "fortunately," because without video evidence they'd have been hard-pressed to prove their story to their pub mates later that day should they have chosen to down a pint or three to calm their nerves. ®