Cops were trying to rescue a woman stuck on a drifting boat when they found something else and arrested her

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The 35-year-old was stranded on an open aluminum boat in the middle of heavy rain.

An Australian woman may feel adrift once again after the small boat she was operating on the weekend had to be towed ashore because of mechanical problems, resulting in police rescuers searching the tinny and finding cannabis.The 35-year-old woman found herself adrift with her illicit cargo at about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday near Port Stephens, according to the New South Wales Police. Marine Rescue notified Port Stephens Water Police and the officers responded to lend the woman a much-needed hand. In the middle of heavy rain and 25 knots winds, the rescuers managed to locate the three-metre tinny, a small, open aluminum boat. They provided the woman with a lifejacket and her boat was towed to the nearby Shoal Bay Boat Ramp. The police report that a subsequent search of the boat, which was later confirmed to be unregistered and without mandatory emergency equipment, uncovered an unidentified amount of methylamphetamine (ice) and cannabis among the woman’s findings.Recreational cannabis is federally illegal in Australia. According to the Australian Criminal Law Group, the maximum penalty for marijuana possession is two years in prison. Sentences, however, will likely depend on the amount being carried and whether or not a person has prior charges.

In New South Wales, “the police may issue you with a caution if you have never been caught with cannabis before, have 15 grams or less in your possession, and claim the cannabis is for personal use,” the information notes.

That said, the cautions are most likely for a first offence, while a second offence will likely include an order to attend drug counselling and a third offence “is likely to result in criminal charges,” it adds.

The woman has been charged with two counts of possessing prohibited drugs, as well as faces three infringements for mastering an unregistered vessel, not wearing a personal flotation device and not carrying specified safety equipment.

The woman is scheduled to next appear in court on Jan. 10, 2022.

The Australian woman is not the first person to be rescued from water while possessing weed. In June of 2020, U.S. border patrol agents had to fish an unconscious, Canadian man out of the Detroit River after he tried to escape from their vessel, but got bogged down in the water after attaching about 120 kilograms of cannabis to a toe strap.

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