Thursday, April 16, 1998, Florida Keys:
Kevin Morrison, a 16-year-old from Rockford, Illinois, received a hearty spring-break welcome from local fauna while scuba diving with his father off the Keys near Marathon. Seeing a three-foot-long nurse shark swimming past him, young Kevin thought it would be neat to grab a shark by its tail, so he did. Instantly, the shark whipped around, sank its teeth into the boy's chest, and refused to let go — even after he was pulled out of the water. The Coast Guard rushed Kevin to Fishermen's Hospital, with the fish still attached. "His poor, sad little gills were still pumping," said Kathleen Starkey, an emergency room nurse. Doctors had to split the shark's spine to get its jaw to unclench. The Morrisons left the Keys quickly after Kevin was treated and released; the shark passed away unmourned.