Most fish, when caught, do all they can to escape. It's one of the simplest survival instincts, because even fish with the smallest, acorn-y brains know that being not in the ocean is infinitely inferior to being in the ocean, where there are other fish, great views and, most importantly, water.
But such was not the case with one fish in southern England, which, after being caught by one fisherman and placed against the mouth of another fisherman, decided the best route toward a prosperous future lay in the throat of that second fisherman.
So that's exactly what it did: jump down the throat of a fisherman until it was entirely stuck in his windpipe, USA Today reports.
This would all, of course, be a crazy story or a funny joke leading up to a great punchline, if it weren't for the fact that the stuck fish wound up choking the man (though of course not by any will of the fish, which probably just wanted the whole ordeal to be over) and triggering cardiac arrest.
Fortunately, however, amid all this chaos, a paramedic arrived on the scene within two minutes. Then they learned this was not a normal case of choking.
No, this man — Sam Quilloam — had wound up with an entire Dover sole in his throat.
Dover sole (via Shutterstock)
The Dover sole is, of course, a flatfish, and therefore an inconveniently wide fish to wind up in the center of one's throat, though it is only fair to say that any whole fish of any size would be inconvenient in a throat. Thus, the man now needed immediate medical attention.
His heart had stopped, but the paramedic continued CPR, artificially ventilated the unlucky fisherman with a bag and mask, and, when that still was not enough, he used a laryngoscope to enlarge the man's mouth.
From there, he could make out the very tip of the fish's tail fin, at which point he used forceps to grip the tail firmly — but not too firmly as to break it off — and pull the whole fish out of the man's throat. And he actually did, although the fins and gills got a little stuck on the way back up and it took six whole attempts.
Feeling grateful to be anyone else in the world besides this fisherman? Us too.
In any case, the fisherman lived, if feeling a little battered along the way.
Sam Quilloam with his girlfriend, after surviving the freak accident.
Matt Harrison, the paramedic on the scene, had just this to say about the whole kerfluffle:
"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."