EXCLUSIVE: A diver with New Zealand’s navy is facing nine months in jail over a drug deal in Australia that left one of his fellow sailors near-death due to the combined effects of MDMA and a massive binge drinking session in Cairns.
- KIWI SAILOR PURCHASED MDMA CAPS FROM A MATE IN CAIRNS WHILE ON SHORE LEAVE EN-ROUTE TO WORLD’S BIGGEST NAVAL EXERCISE IN HAWAII
- SAILOR’S NAVAL COLLEAGUE HAD ADVERSE REACTION TO MDMA CAPSULE FOLLOWING BINGE DRINKING SESSION OF 30 DRINKS
- DRUNK SAILOR “TURNED PALE, COULDN’T TALK & WAS UNABLE TO WALK”
- SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS SHOW HIGH-LIFE LOVING SAILOR AT PARTIES WITH FRIENDS WHO ARE “PINGING” AND “ONIT DOG”
- DISGRACED SAILOR NOW SPORTS A DONALD TRUMP ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’ HAT WHILE FLEXING MUSCLES WITH BODYBUILDERS
He was the young Kiwi sailor fond of partying hard and long, including at nightspots known as The Back Bar and the Outback Inn in the student city of Hamilton on New Zealand’s north island. Opened in July 2012, The Back Bar describes itself as “Hamilton’s home of electronic music”. The Outback Inn meanwhile claims to be the “biggest and most popular nightclub in Hamilton”. That very same fascination with Australiana and intense partying would however come to bring about the ultimate fall from grace for Royal New Zealand Navy diver, Aaron Crossley, who is facing a court martial this month over a drugs and drink scandal involving two countries.
The trouble goes all the way back to June 2016 and a stopover in Australia when Mr Crossley was aboard the HMNZS Te Kaha en route to Hawaii for the major RIMPAC military exercise.
Also known as the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, it is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. In total, 27 nations, 45 ships, five submarines and more than 200 aircraft would end up taking part.
But Mr Crossley never made it to Hawaii. And nor would two of his colleagues. For it was during shore leave in the northern Queensland town of Cairns that everything began to go wrong for Mr Crossley and his mates.
After touching down in the resort town, Mr Crossley purchased at least two MDMA capsules from a local friend in Cairns. Later, at a bar on June 12, he handed over the capsules to two Navy colleagues who had been engaging in a long drinking session.
At a court martial hearing this month aboard the HMNZS Philome during which Mr Crossley pleaded guilty to supplying MDMA, it was heard that one of Mr Crossley’s shipmates who received the ecstasy capsule had already consumed up to 30 standard drinks.
The man soon suffered an adverse reaction to the MDMA due to the high levels of alcohol present in his system and then “turned pale, couldn’t talk and was unable to walk”, according to NZ media outlet Newshub.
The drunk and stricken sailors who ingested the MDMA caps were tested once back on board HMNZS Te Kaha before being flown back to New Zealand.
Both men have since been discharged from New Zealand’s navy after pleading guilty during a previous court martial.
Mr Crossley joined the Royal NZ Navy having graduated from the public co-ed Otorohanga College in 2013. The school founded in 1895 has a motto of: “Honour before honours“.
It seems though that Mr Crossley forgot about that motto after falling into a tailspin of late nights and partying soon after graduating. A number of photos from 2015 show Mr Crossley at well-known Hamilton nightspots including The Back Bar and The Outback Inn.
“Party with your mates, meet new friends and have the most fun and party your night away with latest greatest tunes!!,” the Outback Inn claims on its Facebook page.
In some of the photos posted to his own personal Facebook account, Mr Crossley and his friends can be seen joking about how high on MDMA they look.
“[BLANK] you onit dog,” Mr Crossley writes in a Facebook post in January 2015 alongside a photo of him and a seemingly inebriated friend.
“Pinging!!,” another friend responds.
Before Mr Crossley’s friend in the photo confirms: “Onit dog”.
Another photo from March of this year shows Mr Crossley looking much more buff than in previous years and meeting a well-known bodybuilder while wearing a Donald Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ fan hat.
“Love the hat,” one friend posted in response to the photo.
“Thought you might,” Mr Crossley responds.
Make America Great Again? Disgraced Kiwi sailor faces a possible prison term
Despite his new toned, muscled physique and trendy fashion accessories, Mr Crossley’s superiors claim that his position with the navy is now forever untenable.
His commanding officer, Commander Quentin Randall, told the court martial that his relationship with Mr Crossley was irretrievably broken.
“He cannot be trusted to do his job,” the commander said. “He should’ve been looking after his mates.”
The prosecution is seeking a term of imprisonment of nine months.