Being a marine wildlife photographer is as rewarding as it is dangerous – and here we get a chance to see just why. While filming off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Rainer Schimpf nearly got swallowed whole by a Bryde’s whale. As the 15 meter (49 foot) long whale rushed towards the surface to breathe, Schimpf was in the water filming only a few feet away.

whale breach

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Thankfully, he was just a couple of meters away from the whale – he didn’t have time to fully react, and it was just luck that saved him. The force generating during the breach of the water sent him flying backwards, but he managed to end up unharmed.

However, before he had time to get away, he had another surprise encounter – this time with a shark. Check out of the footage of this amazing experience: