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Man Tries To Kiss The Fish He Caught, Then It Jumped Down His Throat And Stopped His Heart

BEN BIRCHALL/PA

A British fisherman survived the kiss of death when a fish jumped down his throat and blocked his windpipe.

Sam Qulliam, 27, went into cardiac arrest in Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth, England, after a six inch Dover sole fish wriggled out of his hand and leaped into his mouth. He said he was trying to "kiss the fish" - a tradition inspired by Rex Hunt, an Australian TV fisherman, before throwing it back into sea.

“I squeezed it and like a bar of soap it jumped out of my hand and into my mouth. It got out of my hands and into my mouth and basically swam straight down my throat," Quillam said.

“I ran round the pier like a headless chicken and then passed out. It was terrifying from what I remember.”

Quilliam's friends immediately called 9-9-9 (the UK's emergency telephone number) and performed CPR until help arrived.

Paramedics were able to yank the fish out with forceps in an ambulance, despite the barb and gills becoming stuck in his throat.

Steve Perry, who had been fishing with Quilliam for seven years, said it was a traumatic event.

"He was rigid, struggling to get breath, blood was coming from his mouth. I was very serious, nothing comical about it. We went from a great night catching fish from some friends to him on the floor."

Paramedic Matt Harrison said it was crucial they were able to extract the fish out on their first attempt.

"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 said.

"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."

When asked if he would ever smooch a fish again, Quilliam said he wouldn't rule it out in the future.

"Probably just a bit bigger... and not a sole.”