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Sole survivor: UK paramedics save man after fish jumps down his throat. Fish not so lucky

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 7:14am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 8:42pm

British paramedics say a man almost died when a fish he had just caught jumped down his throat.

South Western Ambulance Service says medics were called to the pier in Boscombe, southern England, on October 5 and found a 28-year-old man in cardiac arrest.

They were told he had put the 14-centimetre Dover sole over his mouth as a joke, but it wriggled free and jumped down his throat, blocking his airway.

An ambulance was called as the man’s friend’s attempted CPR to resuscitate him.

Initial assessment by paramedic Matt Harrison was that the patient had a blocked airway and was in cardiac arrest.

He and a colleague, Martyn Box, an operations officer, worked on the man and got a pulse back.

“The boys were giving really good CPR on our arrival as instructed by the control room staff,” Box said.

“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.”

Harrison said he tried to remove the fish with forceps “although the fish’s barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up.” On the sixth attempt he managed to extract the whole fish, now dead.

The ambulance service said Thursday the man, who has not been identified, suffered “no lasting effects” from the mishap.

Additional reporting by The Guardian