A man has quite the story to tell – and it could have killed him.
Retired postman Alan Pope was in a boat preparing for a snorkelling trip in Indonesia when the swordfish leapt from the ocean and stabbed him in the neck.
The impact threw the 57-year-old to the floor of the boat and snapped the tip of the fish’s long bill leaving six inches in his neck and blood gushing from the wound.
They call it a swordfish because the bill is about the same size, shape and sharpness of a kitchen knife. Thankfully the blade missed his jugular vane by a millimeter.
His wife Sharon said: ‘I thought he’d been shot. I heard this thud and saw him on the floor of the boat with a hole in his neck, like a bullet circle. Then he started coughing and spitting up blood.
It was so close to his jugular and carotid arteries that it took 36 hours, and three hospitals, before doctors dared remove it because of the risks of the surgery.
The Popes, from Northampton, UK, were off the island of Lembongan when the incident occurred. ‘We hired a little wooden private charter boat to take us out; it was just me, my wife and the man in charge of the boat,’ said Mr Pope.
‘The water was quite choppy, but we got about half an hour out to sea when I felt this whack on the side of my head. It knocked me off my feet. I wasn’t sure what had happened, and then I felt this tickling in the back of my throat.
He had to endure a 30-minute boat ride to shore trying to stem the blood. He said: ‘The beak missed my jugular by a millimetre. The doctors said that if the surgery had gone wrong I could have bled out in three minutes. ___
He has quite the story and if that happened to me i’de go to church after the hospital.
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