The sole survivor: fisherman who almost had his chips
Angler ‘kisses’ catch for snap but almost dies after it jumps down his throat
A FISHERMAN who posed with his catch nearly died after the 6in Dover sole jumped down his throat, suffocating him.
The man was jokingly pretending to kiss it when it wiggled free and leapt into his mouth.
The 28-year-old stopped breathing for three minutes after the fish slipped straight down his throat.
The unnamed fisherman had just reeled in the catch and was showing it off to friends when he lost his grip of the flat fish.
It caused a complete obstruction of the man’s airways and his face turned blue.
His shocked friends called 999 and tried to give him CPR while paramedics dashed to the scene on Boscombe pier in Bournemouth.
They arrived two minutes later but by that time the man had gone into cardiac arrest and had stopped breathing.
Paramedics used forceps to grab hold of the fish’s tail but it took six attempts to pull the fish free as its barb and gills had become stuck in the angler’s throat.
Matt Harrison, one of the paramedics, said that when they questioned the man’s friends, they explained he had been joking around with the catch and put it over his mouth.
He said that at that moment the fish wiggled free, promptly jumping straight down the patient’s throat.
“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 eventually dislodge the tip of the tail and very carefully, so as not to break the tail off, I tried to remove it – although 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 as if I lost 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.
“Eventually, after six attempts, the fish came out in one piece and to our amazement it was a whole Dover sole, measuring about 14cm in length.”
He added: “I have never attended a more bizarre incident and don’t think I ever will. We are all so glad the patient has no lasting effects from his cardiac arrest, which could so easily have had such a tragic and devastating outcome.”
Martyn Box, the operations officer who also attended the incident, said: “The boys [the man’s friends] were giving really good CPR on our arrival as instructed by the control room staff.
“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.”
Mr Box added: “This story just highlights how important it is for friends or bystanders to step in and start CPR when someone’s heart has stopped.”
The fish did not survive.