Holy Ship! Drug dog overdoses screening passengers boarding EDM cruise festival
The dog survived. He just had a really weird night.
Sometimes you have to be careful where you stick your nose. Even if you’re a police drug sniffing dog.
Case and point: a Florida K9 officer named Jake, was recently working on the EDM cruise Holy Ship! when he accidentally caught a face-full of some really good shit and OD’d.
The drug dog was just doing his thing, sniffing bags, wagging his tail and checking passengers as they came aboard the Norwegian Epic. But he started acting funny after a time. At first his handlers thought he might just be sick, but as he started acting stranger and stranger they realized that Jake wasn’t ill — he was rolling balls.
They leapt into action. A crew member showed up with some Narcan (a drug commonly used to treat human overdoses) and they hastily administered it to the dog.
“[Jake] started having some problems with balance and had some type of seizure incident of some sort, was showing effects of having inhaled some substance,” Tod Goodyear, a sheriff's office spokesperson, explained in an interview with WFTV. “They administered the Narcan and got [him] to the vet.”
Turns out, Jake found some really fire ecstasy. The drugs were traced back to passenger Leslie Bennett, a Montana man who was promptly arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance without prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia and equipment.
It should come as no surprise that, at a festival like Holy Ship! there are a lot of drugs. We’re talking about a crowd of EDM fans, here: ravers, whompers, house-aficionados, all packed onto a four-day cruise, full of music, booze, dancing, glitter and light shows. Drugs are a part of this culture. And, realistically, they’re also part of the Holy Ship! cruise experience.
Which is probably why, on their website, the company clearly states their policy on drugs and contraband: “Every person and each piece of luggage will be inspected by dogs trained to detect explosives and contraband. Anyone found to be violating the law and/or in possession of illegal substances or prohibited items will be arrested and banned from future events.”
They know what kind of crowd they’re dealing with.
Still, even with a “zero-tolerance” policy like that one, it’s clear that people are still willing to test their luck. Just this year, over a dozen passengers were arrested and removed from the cruise ship for smuggling drugs aboard (or, at least, trying to). Which begs the question, how many people make it through? How much contraband slips past K9’s like Jake and onto these party cruises annually?
Probably a lot. So much that, honestly, it’s a wonder doggie-OD’s like these aren’t more common when Holy Ship! cruises into town.
K9 Jake is okay, after this whole incident. He got to the vet, received treatment and was reported to be in stable condition as of last week. Though, it's possible he could discover a new affection for glowsticks, glitter and deep pulsing beats in the weeks to come.