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Fish jumps down man's throat during prank

British paramedics say a man almost died when a fish he had just caught jumped down his throat.

South Western Ambulance Service says medics were called to the pier in Boscombe, southern England, on October 5 and found a 28-year-old man in cardiac arrest.

They were told he had put the 14-centimetre Dover sole over his mouth as a joke, but it wriggled free and jumped down his throat, blocking his airway.

Paramedic Matt Harrison said he tried to remove the fish with forceps "although the fish's barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up". On the sixth attempt he managed to extract it whole.

The ambulance service said on Thursday the man, who has not been identified, suffered "no lasting effects" from the mishap.

© AP 2017