An angler had to be resuscitated after accidentally swallowing a fish he had just caught during a prank.
The 28-year-old had been “joking around” when the six-inch (14cm) Dover sole wriggled out of his hand and jumped into his mouth, South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS) said.
He stopped breathing and suffered a cardiac arrest on the scene at Boscombe Pier, Bournemouth.
Paramedics managed to remove the fish with forceps in an ambulance.
Ambulance worker Matt Harrison 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.
“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 Harrison said the fish’s barbs and gills became stuck but he eventually succeeded in pulling it out in one piece with forceps.
He said it was the “most bizarre” call-out he had ever attended.
Paramedics managed to restart the man’s heart at the pier after working on him for three minutes.
They praised the angler’s friends who had performed CPR before the arrival of emergency crews at about 23:00 BST on 5 October.
Mr Harrison said: “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.”