‘Below Deck’: Brian de Saint Pern Almost Choked to Death

Being a deckhand can be a very dangerous job, but sometimes that danger doesn’t lurk on deck. Brian de Saint Pern from Below Deck recently shared he experienced a terrifying moment when he nearly choked to death on charter.

Brian de Saint Pern
Brian de Saint Pern |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The deckhand posted a video to Twitter sharing that a simple dinner could have turned deadly. A fan observed on Twitter that de Saint Pern often inhaled his food when he was Below Deck. “Honestly it doesn’t surprise you choked, even during the season and a piece of meat was bigger than your mouth i was thinking he’s going to choke someday eating like that. Glad you didn’t die but dude take smaller bites and chew before taking the next.”

In the video, de Saint Pern details the harrowing experience. He added that he was also in the middle of FaceTiming with his daughter at the time. This was extremely concerning as de Saint Pern was worried she watched her father struggle.

A family dinner that became scary

De Saint Pern shot the video while walking on land. He’s wearing his jacket from Valor as he shares his story. “So, last night I had a bit of an emergency, a big f**king scare,” he begins the video. “I was eating dinner, well I was FaceTiming my daughter, and she asked me to eat dinner with her because obviously I don’t see her a lot and we wanted to eat dinner together.”

He continues by saying while he was on video with his daughter, somehow a piece of steak he was eating became lodged in his throat. “When I say stuck in my throat, I mean properly stuck in my throat, like I could not breathe,” he shares.

He first tries to extract the meat himself. But when he isn’t successful, he rushes to his cabinmates to see if they could perform the Heimlich maneuver, which is an abdominal maneuver designed to force an obstruction from the airway. In a panic, de Saint Pern says he was trying to make gestures to the crew to show that he was choking.

A serious situation becomes desperate

Despite the crew member’s best effort to perform the Heimlich on de Saint Pern, the meat was still lodged in his airway. So he then ran into the crew mess. “Luckily I remembered my training from my first aid course,” he says. “I remember if you are in a choking situation, and you fall down to the ground, to try to get it out, so I did that.”

He says he fell to his knees while coughing at the same time. Luckily the steak a propelled outward. “This is after a couple of minutes,” he remarks. “So you know, I’m going blue in the face. It was a big scare. I thought I was going to pass out and that was it.”

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“The worst part of it all was because obviously me FaceTiming my daughter. Initially, when it happened, I didn’t think,” he says. “And still FaceTiming, and my friend was hitting me on the back trying to do the Heimlich maneuver on me. And my daughter saw the whole thing. So she was crying.”

He adds that thankfully his daughter’s mother’s new boyfriend quickly removed the phone. So he doesn’t think she saw the entire incident. He was later able to explain what happened to his child. The video ends with de Saint Pern looking relieved, adding, “Life’s too short man!”