Did Stoner Sailor Cause the Mysterious Newport-Ensenada Boat Crash?

That's the question Orange County Register readers are asking themselves, thanks to an Aug. 1 story in the paper headlined “Marijuana found in body of Newport-Ensenada sailor,” a reference to the crash of the Aegean, which set sail from Newport Beach along with dozens of other boats on April 27 but failed to turn up in Ensenada, Mexico at the race's end. Bodies of all four sailors were recovered days after the crash, first believed to be with another boat, but now thought to be the result of the boat running aground on rocks. Toxicology reports just released revealed no alcohol in their bodies, but did confirm the presence of marijuana in a 64-year-old sailor, Joseph Lester Stewart.

All of which begs a question that apparently never entered the heads of our friends at the Register when they published the above article: So-the-fuck what?

After all, as anyone who's ever had to quit hitting the bong thanks to employer drug testing already knows, the presence of marijuana in a person's blood doesn't mean that said individual just smoked a doobie. Marijuana can remain present in testable levels for weeks after being ingested. The article doesn't elaborate about how much marijuana was detected, but given that it was only found in one sailor and all four of them tested negative for alcohol, describing the chance of pot having anything to do with the crash as “remote” would be putting it midly. A more appropriate headline might have been this: “Dead sailor smoked weed sometime this year, tests show.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting its own investigation into the crash, but has yet to issue any findings, like, for example, whether it's possible the Aegean was rammed by a Mexican cartel pot smuggling boat, or maybe a Colombian submarine carrying weed, or better yet, one actually made of marijuana. Hey, anything's possible, right?

Meanwhile, there's not much more to the story you'll learn from clicking on the link to the Reg article, but the comments–overwhelmingly from angry readers–are pretty fun.

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