A DRAMATIC set of pictures show a man nearly being swallowed by a Bryde’s Whale off Port Elizabeth Harbour. Rainer Schimpf, 51, has worked as a dive tour operator in South Africa for over 15 years. But in February, he experienced something very rare – the inside of a whale’s mouth. In perfect sea conditions, Rainer and his team set off to document a sardine run – a natural event where gannets, penguins, seals, dolphins, whales and sharks work together to gather the fish into bait balls. Rainer and his colleagues film the expedition for educational and environmental purposes.Split into two groups, Rainer led his team into the ocean, about 25 nautical miles from shore.But it was when the sea suddenly churned up that the team knew something strange was happening.
Videographer: James Jones & Rainer Schimpf
Photographer: Heinz Toperczer
Producer: Martha Hewett, Ruby Coote
Editor: Shiona Penrake