Video shows diver narrowly escaping the jaws of a whale

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A dive tour operator has described how he survived getting swallowed by a whale off the coast of South Africa.

Schimpf was diving off the coast of Port Elizabeth with a group that were photographing sharks when a Bryde's whale came up through the feeding frenzy that was going on and scooped him up into its mouth.

Rainer Schimpf seen in the mouth of the Bryde's whale off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in February.

"It happened extremely fast ..." We got in the water and the next moment something grabbed me from the left. "And once I felt pressure, instantly I knew a whale had grabbed me", Schimpf told Barcroft TV. "There is no time for fear, you have to use your instincts", he said.

"I felt the pressure increase around my waist, which is when I guess the whale realised his mistake as he turned sideways, opened his mouth slightly to release me and I was washed out, together with what felt like tons of water".

The 51-year-old's fellow dive teachers said his incident with the whale was undoubtably an accident.

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"Whales are not man-eaters". It was no fault of the whale.

Schimpf said that the whale did not purposely attack him and that the mammals do not eat humans.

The video of the dive has gone viral, garnering more than 1.5 million views on social media in a couple of days. "I now have the inside knowledge of whale which nobody else has".

This representative photo shows a mother Bryde's whale (front) and her calf feeding on anchovies in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Samut Sakhon province, November 20, 2016.

They typically grow to more than 15m in length and feed on a variety of fish and plankton.

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