It’s a whale of a fishing tale and it’s all true, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
A passerby Monday came upon an angler who had been fishing along Emerson Point Road in Palmetto and noticed he was bleeding from the mouth and was having trouble breathing.
The witness dialed 911. paramedics, as well as a Manatee County sheriff’s deputy, rushed to the scene.
“Upon arrival EMS 16 was bringing the victim out and he had blood on his face and chest,” the deputy wrote in an incident report. “He was barely conscious, but was having trouble breathing. EMS located a 7-inch fish lodged halfway down his throat.”
The victim is only described as being a 58-year-old man who had two fishing poles and a bait bucket. He was wearing a fishing vest.
“They had to sedate the victim and used forceps to remove the fish,” the deputy wrote. “The victim didn’t show signs of any other injury.”
Answers as to how the fish got stuck in the man’s throat are only known to the victim, as he was unable to speak while being treated and since there was no crime, law enforcement has not followed up with the man after initial attempts.
“I searched the area and the victim’s vehicle and didn’t see anything suspicious or that led me to believe this was a suicide attempt,” the deputy wrote.
The witness, too, told deputies that he didn’t see how it happened, just that he saw the victim bleeding from the mouth.
The victim was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital after paramedics were able to remove the fish, saving the man’s life.
The deputy did follow the victim to the hospital, noting that doctors completed the treatment on the man’s throat and he was released.
Deputies made an attempt to locate the victim at his home after he was released, but were unsuccessful.