A Port Elizabeth Tour operator who escaped death after nearly being swallowed by a whale has made international headlines.

Rainer Schimpf, who takes tourists whale watching in Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape, was filmed with his legs dangling from a Bryde’s whale’s mouth.

It occurred while Schimpf was in the water filming the sardine run last month.

Schimpf says, “Well it happened extremely fast, I mean I was busy concentrating on the sharks and suddenly it got dark and as it got dark I was moved forward and I felt some pressure in my hip, so I realised instantly that a whale had grabbed me and there’s no time for fear or any thoughts in your head. The only thing I thought of was that the whale can’t swallow me because its throat is too small.”