Angler nearly died when Dover sole leapt down throat
An AnglER had a cardiac arrest when a Dover Sole he had just caught jumped down his throat.
The man was kissing his catch in celebration when the six-inch fish wriggled out of his hand and leapt into his mouth.
He choked when its barbs and gills became stuck and, without oxygen, his condition quickly deteriorated.
His shocked friends performed CPR as they waited for South Western Ambulance Service to arrive.
Paramedics restarted the unnamed 28-year-old’s heart and artificially ventilated him with a bag and mask during the incident on Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth, Dorset.
They extracted the fish, a relatively small specimen, at the scene because they knew he would die if they tried to take him to hospital first. An ambulance crewman used forceps to grab its tail, pulling it clear at the sixth attempt.
The young victim was taken to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital where he recovered.
Martyn Box, the ambulance operations officer who attended the scene, said: ‘The boys were giving really good CPR on our arrival.
‘Initially we didn’t know the true extent of the situation or what the patient was choking on, but as we questioned them further, we were told he had a whole fish stuck in his windpipe. As the patient’s heart had already stopped, we continued CPR and achieved the return of a pulse after about three minutes, and then transferred the patient quickly by stretcher to the ambulance.’
Paramedic Matt Harrison said: ‘It was clear that we needed to get the fish out or this patient was not going to survive the short journey to Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
‘I used a laryngoscope to fully extend the mouth and throat and saw what appeared like an altered colour of tissue in his throat.
‘Using forceps I was able to evenarrest tually dislodge the tip of the tail and very carefully, so as not to break the tail off, I tried to remove it. The fish’s barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up.
‘I was acutely aware that I only had one attempt at getting this right because if I lost my grip, or a piece broke off and it slid further out of sight, then there was nothing more that we could have done to retrieve the obstruction.
‘I have never attended a more bizarre incident and don’t think I ever will.
‘We’re all so glad the patient has no lasting effects from his cardiac which could so easily have had such a tragic and devastating outcome.
‘On arrival at Royal Bournemouth Hospital Emergency Department the man had responded well enough to be able to answer a few basic questions which was a huge relief and sense of achievement for us all.’
Initial CPR was given by members of the Boscombe Pier Sea Anglers club in the incident on October 5. Ian Cowie from the group told the BBC: ‘He was kissing the fish when it jumped down his throat. It’s a tradition to kiss your first catch.’
Adult Dover Sole can grow up to 2ft4ins in length and are highly prized by fishermen.
Tiddler: The sole swallowed by the angler was six inches long