In a made for the movies story, a little boy presumed lost at sea was rescued and deposited on a Monterey beach by a great white shark.
Two year old Dahl Kirsch and twelve others were swept off the Presidio Ferry near Oakland, CA, when it was hit by a rogue wave during a sightseeing trip. A rescue operation was launched and all passengers were recovered safe and sound, except for Kirsch.
In an amazing ending to the story, two teen surfers found the boy on a beach over a hundred miles away sitting in the mouth of a great white shark.
One of the teens, Loni Grace, tells how she took the iconic photo of the boy and shark that's now gone viral.
"I was taking pictures of the sunset and watching my friend Ine catch her last wave before it got dark. Then I saw this huge silhouette near the shallow water, it was way to big for a sea lion and when I realized what it was I started yelling 'shark' at Ine. I ran up to take a picture of it because I was sure the shark would swim off in the dark and Ine wouldn't believe me--and then I hear this little kid laughing right where the shark is. I turned my light on and I see a little boy sitting in this shark's mouth and I just couldn't believe it. Well I must have hit the picture button too by mistake, but I got that shot before the shark gently pushed the boy out of it's mouth."
The two teens attended to the amazingly uninjured boy and phoned police to report a lost child, meanwhile the shark worked it's way back into deeper water and disappeared.
When emergency personnel arrived, Monterey Police were skeptical of the girls' shark story until Grace remembered she was taking pictures of the sunset and wanted to take a picture of the shark to prove to her friend that she wasn't making it up. That's when she discovered she had accidentally taken the one picture that proved her story.
Meanwhile in Oakland, it seemed hope was fading for the boys parents as the search for their missing child changed to a recovery operation.
When the photo of the "Shark boy" who was found in Monterey hit the media that night, Melinda Hirsch started screaming and crying with joy when she realized her son had been found alive.
Ms. Hirsch spoke to reporters outside of Monterey Regional Hospital where the family was reunited.
"My husband thought I was having a breakdown because I was screaming and jumping, but when I showed him the photo from the news he did the same thing. We just started driving to Monterey and calling on the phone to see where our boy was."
"I didn't even realize at first that he was found in a shark. When I saw the picture I just thought they found him at an amusement park or something."
Biologists and shark experts are puzzled by the sharks behavior, but most believe the shark took a maternal interest in the boy and that's why he was not harmed.
"Mama Shark" as she was named in the media was seen swimming in the Monterey Bay area the next day and beach goers were warned to stay on high alert.
In an interesting coincidence, the Kirsch's had already affectionately nicknamed their son Shark Boy before the ferry accident: Dahl Kirsch has extra teeth behind his regular teeth, kind of like a shark's, a condition known as hyperdontia.