Pilot wins best conch honker in quirky Florida Keys contest

Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 04, 2019

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — A man who flies air ambulances for a Florida sheriff can also honk the 1958 song "Tequila" using a pink-lined conch shell.

David Masterson's unique music skills earned him this year's best honker among men in the Conch Shell Blowing Contest in Key West, Florida.

An aviation director for the Monroe County sheriff, Masterson said he began blowing the shell for fun when he lived on a boat.

Conch shells have been used as signaling devices in the Florida Keys for centuries. Native-born islanders are called Conchs, and the Keys are nicknamed the Conch Republic.

Judges evaluated more than 50 contestants from children to seniors on the quality, novelty, duration and loudness of their playing.

Another winning performance came from 6-year-old Audrey Van Aken, whose sturdy blast drew loud cheers.