The Guardian reported that the man was joking around with the 5.5-inch fish, pretending he was going to put it in his mouth when it broke free and jumped down his throat.
A man almost died after a fish became lodged in his throat in a joke gone wrong.
Paramedics arrived at the scene at Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth to find that the 28-year-old's heart had stopped for three minutes as friends desperately attempted to perform CPR. By that time, he'd gone into cardiac arrest.
"The boys were giving really good CPR on our arrival as instructed by the control room staff", paramedic Martyn Box said. "Initially, we didn't know the true extent of the situation or what the patient was choking on, but as we questioned them further we were told he had a whole fish stuck in his windpipe".
Despite the paramedics artificially ventilating him with a bag and mask his chest remained silent, suggesting there was total airway occlusion and he was not receiving any oxygen.
They used a laryngoscope to extend the mouth to inspect the throat to see the fish trapped inside.
Mr Harrison said the fish's barbs and gills became stuck but he eventually succeeded in pulling it out in one piece with forceps.
"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", ambulance worker Matt Harrison said, according to the BBC.
He added he was further anxious that the fish's barbs and gills would get stuck on its way out, but on his sixth attempt, Mr Box managed to remove the fish in one piece.