Saturday, September 6, 2008
'Yes, I take medical waste on all my fishing trips.'
Police have finally tracked down the culprit responsible for the medical waste that has been washing up along the shores of South Jersey's resort towns of Avalon and Sea Isle City. However, the suspect's alibi could set him free.
Thomas McFarland, a Pennsylvania dentist, has denied the illegal waste dumping and said he and his boat were the victim of a rouge wave from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Mainline dentist said he was leaving for a fishing trip when he encountered heavy seas in Townsend's Inlet. This is the small waterway that separates the barrier islands in which the two towns are located.
"The wave was huge and it nearly capsized my small boat. This is when my 25 trash bags full of medical waste fell overboard. Yes, I take medical waste on all my fishing trips," said a somewhat nervous McFarland.
When police questioned the purpose for the medical waste on the fishing voyage McFarland said it was for good luck.
"About 5 years ago I took about ten bags of medical waste with me on a trip and I ended up catching a decent–sized marlin," explained McFarland.
When asked by authorities why he took waste on that trip he hesitated and said,"Oh, right. I thought it would help the boat achieve good buoyancy."
Officer Patrick Kirkpatrick of the Avalon Police Department said the dentist's story makes sense. "Studies have shown that empty syringes, old needles and dirty cotton swabs do great things for buoyancy. He's not a dumb guy. I may take waste on my next trip."
McFarland's attorney said his client takes medical waste with him just about everywhere he goes–from church to the supermarket.