A fisherman who almost choked to death when the Dover sole he was trying to kiss literally jumped down his throat has refused to rule out kissing more fish in future.
Sam Quilliam, 28, was left close to death after the fish he had just caught on Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth wriggled down his windpipe, causing a complete blockage.
The angler turned blue as his catch cut off his air supply, while his desperate friends attempted CPR to keep him alive.
When paramedics arrived on the scene less than two minutes later, Quilliam was in cardiac arrest.
Operations officer Matt Harrison, who attended the incident, 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.”
Using forceps, paramedics attempted to dislodge the fish.
Harrison continued: “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.”
After six tense attempts, he was finally able to pull the 14cm Dover sole free from Quilliam’s throat.
The paramedic added: “I have never attended a more bizarre incident and don’t think I ever will – but we’re 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.”
Speaking to the BBC, Quilliam said he had been “a bit shaken up” by the incident.
“People do things like this all the time and you just don’t expect it to happen to you,” he said.
But despite his near-death experience, the keen angler insisted he would “probably” kiss another fish in future.
“Just a bit bigger - and not a sole.”