CHICAGO — In a bold event to celebrate Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” on Thursday, famed scuba diver Neil McMillian dove into a school of ravenous pool sharks at Shooter’s Billiards Bar.
“I figured I’ve dived with all the deadliest sharks — great whites, tiger sharks, card sharks — now was the year to take it up a notch,” said McMillian. “Pool sharks are truly beautiful creatures once you’ve seen them up close. I wanted to bring their beauty to the world through Discovery Channel.”
The global pool shark population flourished in the waters around cities like Chicago and Kansas City throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However, unsustainable fishing practices have decimated their numbers in recent decades.
Despite the danger of approaching a hungry pool shark, McMillian performed the dive without the use of a protective cage. Within minutes, he was hustled out of all his cash.
“They really came after me as soon as I swam up to the table. One of them even got my Rolex,” said McMillian. “Luckily, one of the local toughs came along and broke a few of their thumbs, giving me time to escape before it got too dicey.”