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Swimmer, 35, is left with a needlefish embedded in his THROAT


Swimmer, 35, is left with a needlefish embedded in his THROAT after it jumped out of the sea when he startled it with a rubber ring in Thailand

  • Noppadol Sringam, 35, was pierced in neck after he startled a fish in Thailand
  • He was at the Ao Tan Koo beach with his son and threw a rubber ring in the water
  • He startled a school fish and is now recovering in surgery after one leaped out 

A needlefish pierced a man’s throat after he startled it while swimming in the sea with his rubber ring.

Noppadol Sringam, 35, is still in hospital after the fish had to be surgically removed from his neck following the sudden attack.

The beachgoer was enjoying a day out with his son and tossed an inflatable onto the water at the Ao Tan Koo beach in Trat province, Thailand, yesterday.

Noppadol Sringam (pictured), 35, is still in hospital as he recovers from surgery following the near-fatal attack

This surprised a school of fish nearby, prompting one fish to leap straight at Mr Sringam, in what is believed to have been a form of defence as the fish felt threatened.

Mr Sringam felt a stabbing pain on his neck before seeing blood mixing with the seawater as he realised that one of the needlefish had stabbed him in the throat with its razor-sharp mouth.

The father and his young son, Nong, 10, called for help while stumbling back onto the sand.

Mr Sringam is still recovering at the hospital after the surgery but is now in stable condition, while the fish has died

Mr Sringam is still recovering at the hospital after the surgery but is now in stable condition, while the fish has died

The father (pictured) and his young son, Nong, 10, called for help while stumbling back onto the sand

The father (pictured) and his young son, Nong, 10, called for help while stumbling back onto the sand

Sai Siritip, a restaurant owner who was one of the first to have seen the injured man, said: ‘Everyone panicked and swam off the water when they saw the bloodied man.

‘He came running towards this way to ask for help. There were about 20 tourists that day including the injured man and his family.’

Shocked onlookers called the rescuers to take the man to the hospital as the fish was still stuck in his throat.

They wrapped tissue around the fish to prevent it from wiggling and delivered the injured man to Laem Ngop Hospital.

Laem Ngop Hospital doctors attempted to remove the live fish from his throat but were not able to.

Due to Mr Sringam’s unusual injury, he was delivered to the state hospital for an operation.

Miraculously, the deadly creature’s long beak, nearly four inchest (ten centimeters) had avoided hitting any major arteries.

Mr Sringam is still recovering at the hospital after the surgery but is now in stable condition, while the fish has died.

District council chief Suchat Chitmungmanotum said: 'The tourist may have caused panic in the sea creature, making it jump and pierce his throat'

District council chief Suchat Chitmungmanotum said: ‘The tourist may have caused panic in the sea creature, making it jump and pierce his throat’

Miraculously, the deadly creature's long beak, nearly four inchest (ten centimeters) had avoided hitting any major arteries

Miraculously, the deadly creature’s long beak, nearly four inchest (ten centimeters) had avoided hitting any major arteries

District council chief Suchat Chitmungmanotum said: ‘The needlefish normally swim near the water surface and are not violent. When startled, they jumped to the surface.

‘The tourist may have caused panic in the sea creature, making it jump and pierce his throat.’

Mr Siritip, the restaurant owner, added that the fish was not a full-grown fish but a juvenile so the man, despite being extremely unlucky, was still fortunate.

She said: ‘He was unlucky but fortunately, it’s not a full-grown fish. Otherwise, his injury might have been more serious.

‘The restaurant had been open for four decades. I have never seen an incident such as this happening in real life before. What extreme bad luck.’

It wasn’t the first time that such creatures caused injuries to swimmers in the province.

In 2019, a needlefish killed a 22-year-old Thai navy cadet while on training in the same province. 

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