Man Who Wanted to Be With Swans Because They Don’t ‘Judge’ Him, Abandoned By His Swan Boat

A man who was rescued from the middle of a lake in Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 15 told police that he had taken the drug MDMA – also commonly known as ecstasy or “Molly” – before his escapade.

Keith Thurston, 36, also told police that he had gone to commune with the swans because the swans don’t “judge him,” according to a police report released Monday, Dec. 18.

Lake Eola is in a public park in downtown Orlando and has a central fountain, swan-shaped paddle boats, and real swans.

NTD Photo
Swan boats in Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, Florida, on Nov. 29, 2008. (“Swan Boats” by Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (])
The Orlando Police department says someone heard the man yelling for help and called 911.

It was early Friday morning when the bystander called emergency responders, telling them that a man had become stranded on the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain in the center of the lake.

Police and firefighters rushed to the area at about 4 a.m., where they saw Thurston, who lives in Orlando, shivering on the fountain in shorts and a life jacket.

Weather Underground recorded the temperature in Orlando at about 60 degrees with wind speeds of about 7 mph shortly before 4 a.m.

According to an Orlando police report, the man had taken the swan boat to the fountain but forgot to tie it up and it floated away from him.

“Before Thurston was transported [to hospital] he explained he ingested a large quantity of Molly (MDMA) and wanted to be with the swans because they didn’t judge him,” officers wrote in an incident report, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Charges against Thurston are pending.