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Divers narrowly escape getting gulped by whales

California, July 24 (): Two divers narrowly escaped from humpback whales that were gulping down fish off the central California coast near Avila Beach at Souza Rock, about two miles off Morro Bay.

The men were part of the SloDivers scuba diving contract in California’s Morro Bay, and were riding aboard the “Magic” boat, a retired commercial urchin boat, according to SloDivers’ website.

Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua were the two divers in the sea water. The humpback whales weighing 40-ton burst out of the water just only few inches from Antigua, and as they splashed back below the surface, the divers quickly whizzed back to the safety of their boat. When the divers experienced the close encounter of the whales, the divers were wearing wetsuits and floating near their boat.

The men were surrounded by a shoal of krill, which the giant mammals frequently feed on. They were recording underwater footage, when the two whales emerged from the ocean, swallowing whatever fish were in their paths.

The video footage showed two humpback whales, each five stories tall, and weighing 50-tons or more breach the surface, gulping down krill and small fish and almost swallow two divers.

Friends Jay Hebrard and Jeremy Bonnett were on the boat capturing the scenes. They have captured the thrilling heart-in-mouth moment on video from the safety of the boat. Stamback and Antigua quickly swan back capturing their breath.

“A three-foot difference, one diver would have been in the mouth of the whale,” says Hebrard.

Humpback whales are not violent towards humans, but the divers could have faced dangers certainly if they had been swept up into the mouth of the whales. When a humpback whale feeds, it takes in a large mouthful of water and krill, closes its mouth, pushes the water out with its tongue and swallows its catch whole.