Sam Quilliam, a UK fisherman who surviving a bizarre incident in which a 14cm fish he had just caught jumped down his throat has thanked the man who saved him.
Sam Quilliam, 28, says he was trying to “kiss the fish” – a tradition thanking the catch before returning it to the sea – when the Dover sole wiggled free and jumped down his throat, blocking his airway and sending him into cardiac arrest in the southern English town of Boscombe.
He said the idea came from Australian television fisherman Rex Hunt, who often plants a kiss on his catches.
“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,” he told The Guardian.
“I ran round the pier like a headless chicken and then passed out. It was terrifying from what I remember,”
Paramedic Matt Harrison used forceps to grab the fish, although its “barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up”.
Quilliam says he is much better since the October 5 incident and has not ruled out kissing a fish again.
He said next time though, the fish will be “probably just a bit bigger … and not a sole”.
He paid credit to Harrison: “Thank you, you are a credit to the NHS (National Health Service).”