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Authorities identify dead sailor

"A man whose body and sailboat washed ashore at Maxwelton Beach late Thursday has been identified by the Island County Coroner's office.Coroner Robert Bishop identified the man over the weekend as Ronald Edward Hart, Jr., 45, of Port Hadlock. After completing an autopsy Saturday, Bishop said Hart died of saltwater drowning after he fell off his boat and was dragged through the water by the boat, the Moondance. The 26-foot Thunderbird sailing craft was under full sail when Hart went into the water. He remained attached to the boat via a tether line.Drinking may have contributed to Hart's death. Although a toxicology report will not come back for at least two weeks, Bishop said there were indications during the autopsy that a toxicology report may come back positive. When authorities found Hart's 6-foot, 200-pound body on Friday morning, it was nude except for a T-shirt. His boat came ashore about 40 feet out from Maxwelton Beach. It fell on its side when the tide receded. The scene remained inaccessible to Sheriff and Fire Protection District 3 personnel until after noon Friday due to difficult terrain.Hart had been dead since about 7 p.m. the previous evening -- about three hours after he had sailed out of Port Hadlock under full sail. Bishop said Hart's acquaintances in Port Hadlock report that Hart was an experienced sailor. He had been living aboard his boat for some time in Port Hadlock and did not seem to have a permanent, land-based address.Bishop said his office located Hart's next-of-kin Monday afternoon. Hart has a sister living in Hoquiam."

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