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who is missing? Boater finds brick of likely cocaine, snorts some, dies

coldaircoldair Posts: 11,490 AG
Boater finds brick of likely cocaine, snorts some, dies

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Posted - Friday, July 29, 2011 04:16 PM EDT


A Merritt Island videographer died in a Miami hospital Thursday after he snorted an unknown substance -- possibly cocaine -- from a brick he found floating off the Middle Keys, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office says.
Thomas Swindal, 53, and his brother Kenneth were trolling in about 200 feet of water on Wednesday when, Detective Mark Maison said, they found what they believed to be a kilo of cocaine and brought it aboard the boat, tossing it into the bait well.
They kept on fishing and, Kenneth Swindal told detectives, he looked back a short time later and saw his brother open the package and ingest some of its contents.
He said about an hour and a half later, Thomas Swindal began to run around the boat, throw things in the water and even gaffed the engine, which fell off the boat and sank.
He continued acting strangely, running around with knives and pliers, so Kenneth Swindal threw all the sharp objects, as well as the package, off the boat.
Because they had no means of communication -- Thomas Swindal had tossed their cell phone off the boat -- and the boat lost its engine, the brothers climbed to the top of the boat and began signaling for help. A nearby vessel responded and called for help. The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and transported the two to shore, where they were met by paramedics.
Thomas Swindal was taken to Fishermen's Hospital and later transferred to South Miami Hospital, where he died Thursday. An autopsy is planned.
The Sheriff's Office says never, ever bring aboard your boat "any object [you] suspect to be contraband." And, the agency says, "it certainly is never safe to ingest any substance if you do not know what the substance is or what the potency of the substance might be."


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