This is the first picture of the fisherman who almost died when a six-inch Dover sole he had just caught jumped down his throat.
Sam Quilliam, 28, was found having a cardiac arrest on Boscombe pier in Bournemouth by medics from the South Western Ambulance Service.
They were told that he had put the fish over his mouth as a joke but it had managed to wriggle free and lodged itself in his throat, leaving him unable to breathe.
Sam Quilliam (above), 28, almost died when a six-inch Dover Sole he had just caught jumped down his throat
Mr Quilliam (pictured) was found having a cardiac arrest on Boscombe pier in Bournemouth by medics on October 5
Mr Quilliam was found unconscious by a paramedic who performed CPR at the scene on October 5.
Witness Carl Smith, 31, also fishing there at the time, said: ‘The man joked, “This sole is bite-size” and held it above his open mouth.
‘But it slipped from his fingers straight to the back of his throat.
‘He panicked, ran down the pier then hit the deck. He couldn’t talk and we knew he was choking.’
Paramedic Matt Harrison tried to dislodge the fish with forceps but that fish’s barbs and gills got caught as it was pulled up his throat.
Eventually on a sixth attempt the fish was pulled out whole.
Mr Quilliam had put the fish over his mouth ‘as a joke’ but it had managed to wriggle free and lodged itself in his throat, leaving him unable to breathe. He has suffered ‘no lasting effects’ from the ordeal
Mr Harrison said: ‘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.
‘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 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.
‘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.’
Mr Quilliam has suffered ‘no lasting effects’ from the ordeal.
Witness Carl Smith, 31, also fishing there at the time, said: ‘The man joked, “This sole is bite-size” and held it above his open mouth.’ Above, Boscombe pier