An­gler nearly died when Dover sole leapt down throat

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Fionn Har­g­reaves

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.

‘Bizarre in­ci­dent’

Tid­dler: The sole swal­lowed by the an­gler was six inches long

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