Boy, 4, saved from choking on chicken nugget by off-duty police officers

Dexter was seconds away from dying when two off-duty police officers on their holiday intervened (Picture: West Midlands Police)

A four-year-old boy was seconds away from choking to death before two hero off-duty police officers intervened.

Dexter turned blue and began to lose consciousness when a chicken nugget got stuck in his throat during a family day out at the beach.

His terrified dad thought they were about to lose him when he turned limp in his arms.

Thankfully, two emergency service workers happened to be passing by and put their first aid skills to good use to prevent a tragedy.

Recounting the ordeal, Dexter’s dad John said: ‘I admit I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know first aid – I was trying everything. 

‘But he was going blue and he was going limp. And then suddenly they were there.

‘They were both so super calm and so professional about it all. It was just awful, watching what was happening to Dexter but being powerless to do anything.

The four-year-old was enjoying a day out at the seaside with his dad when the ordeal occurred (Picture: West Midlands Police)

‘But we won the lottery with these two passing by. Even though they were off-duty they didn’t hesitate to help and if they’d not been there I believe Dexter would have died.’

Detention officer Vincent and his wife happened to be passing by the seaside restaurant in Barmouth, Wales, and spotted what was happening.

The couple – who did not want to give their first names – were on holiday at the time and sprung into action to save the boy.

Mr Vincent, of West Midland Police, said: ‘His dad was quite understandably in panic-mode.

Dexter was losing consciousness after a chicken nugget became lodged in his throat (Picture: SWNS)

‘He didn’t know what to do. So I stepped in and took hold of Dexter, and slapped him on the back a couple of times, but I realise now it was not hard enough.

‘But Dexter was starting to lose consciousness and going limp in my arms.

‘So I did six chest thrusts and finally the chicken nugget came out on the sixth one.

‘The lad started to come back round quite quickly after that and my wife put him on her knee and comforted him.’

He said despite the couple having a combined 27 years of policing experience, that was the first time they’d needed to put their lifesaving skills to such urgent use.

He added: ‘It just goes to show that it really does work and we’re so pleased we were there and able to help.’

Dexter was given the once over by paramedics but didn’t sustain any lasting injuries.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.