By lex, on August 1st, 2011
I sort of miss Key West. It was great flying, great airspace, multiple aircraft types in the stable and all air combat, all the time. The squadron personnel were top notch, the fishing, diving and bugging (lobster fishing) were fantastic. Cerulean seas, and so on.
The locals were generally friendly, but some were a little… quirky.
The 45th Fleet Adversary squadron is gone, but some things don’t change: *
A 54-year-old Merritt Island man in town to fish with his brother died in a Miami hospital Thursday after ingesting a “square” grouper, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Thomas Swindal and his brother, Kenneth, were trolling in 200 feet of water off Fiesta Key at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when they found a floating package believed to contain a kilogram of cocaine, sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin said.
Square grouper is a popular Florida Keys’ nickname for packaged drugs found floating.
The brothers put the package in a bait well and kept fishing, but Kenneth Swindal told deputies he later saw his brother open it and snort whatever was inside, Herrin said.
About an hour and a half later, Thomas Swindal reportedly began to act strangely, running around the boat, throwing things into the water, including their means of communication, a cellphone and VHF radio. He reportedly picked up knives, a pair of pliers and a gaff, and removed the engine cover, which fell overboard and sank, the release states. He then gaffed the engine and damaged it, leaving the boat adrift, Herrin said.
His brother then threw all the sharp objects overboard, along with the package, which authorities did not recover, Herrin said.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission rendered assistance, but the man could not be saved. The FWC’s Officer Bobby Dube – such a name – went out on a limb and said, “We felt (the fisherman’s death) was drug-related. He was acting crazy and going berserk when officers arrived. He was tearing up stuff.“
I’d say that’s a pretty safe bet.
** Original Link Gone; had to be changed – Ed
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