Man Almost Dies After Fish Jumps Down His Throat

October 13, 2017 Updated: October 13, 2017

A fisherman at Boscombe Pier, Bournemouth, almost died after he accidentally swallowed a fish that he had just caught.

The man, Sam Quilliam, 28, was apparently kissing a 14 cm (6 inch) Dover Sole, a tradition among some fisherman on the first catch, when the fish wiggled out his hands and jumped down his throat.

His friends called emergency services and said Quilliam had started choking and was unable to breathe, The Plymouth Herald reports.

The man was fishing on Boscombe Pier, Bournemouth. (“Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth” by Department for Communities and Local Government/Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0 (])
Paramedic Matt Harrison said Quilliam’s windpipe was blocked and he had gone into cardiac arrest.

“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,” he told the Herald.

He then carefully used forceps to remove the fish.

“Using a McGills 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.

“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,” he said to the newspaper.

The whole Dover sole was eventually removed after six attempts.

Harrison called the Oct. 5 incident “bizarre.”

The paramedics continued the CPR that Quilliam’s friends had started before they got there, and after three minutes, his heart started beating again.

Pictured below is Quilliam earlier this year with a sand fish.


Here are instructions on how to do CPR, according to the NHS.