COVENTRY, R.I. — A Rhode Island high school student who used the Heimlich maneuver to save a choking woman says he had learned the life-saving technique in class just days earlier.

Eighteen-year-old Scott Albanesa says it was “incredibly lucky” that he knew what to do when the woman started choking last month at the Coventry restaurant where he works.

He tells WPRI-TV he learned the Heimlich in an elective course called “Lifesaver.” He says his teacher acknowledged that she had never needed to use the technique despite teaching it for years. But Albanesa needed it less than a week later.

He says it took about three tries to dislodge the food stuck in the woman’s throat.

Albanesa says he plans to study nursing in college.

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