Fiesta Key- A Florida man has died after ingesting an unknown substance that was found floating in the water off the Florida Keys.
Thomas Swindal, 53,and his brother Kenneth Swindal, were fishing off the Keys Wednesday when they found a brick floating in the water. The two were unsure what was contained in the brick but after a few minutes of discussion, believed that it may be cocaine and decided to throw it in the bait well until they returned to land.
The brothers went back to fishing and a short time later, Thomas turned around and saw his brother ingesting the cocaine-like substance. Thomas told Monroe County Sheriff’s that it was almost 90 minutes later when his brother started acting very strange.
Here is an account of the strange behaviors as stated in a Monroe County Sheriff’s Press Release:
He began running around the boat, throwing things in the water including a cell phone and a VHF radio. He reportedly picked up knives, a pair of pliers, a gaff and at one point, removed the cowling from the engine which fell overboard and sank. He gaffed the engine, damaging it so it wouldn’t start.
The brother said he threw all the sharp objects off of the boat, and also threw the package overboard as well. The package was not recovered.
Unable to radio in and without a working engine, the brother signaled a nearby boat which then contacted the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who brought the two brothers to shore. Paramedics met the two once they arrived on land and took Kenneth to Fishermen’s Hospital, later transferring him to South Miami Hospital where he died on Thursday.
The cause of death is unknown at this time, however, an autopsy will be performed on Kenneth Swindal.
The Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone finding any object they suspect to be contraband call for law enforcement assistance immediately. Do not touch the object or substance or bring it into your boat; if possible, keep it in view and wait for law enforcement to respond to take custody of it
They also recommend you not ingest anything that you are unsure of the contents.