February 22, 2018

Drunk passenger drops cruise ship anchor

It is ok FBI - see, the ship is still afloat. Surveilliance camera's are making it increasingly hard to pull off pranks in the modern world.

A Holland America cruise ship was disrupted early Saturday morning by a drunk passenger who released the ship’s anchor as it sailed from Costa Maya, Mexico, to Tampa, Florida.

CNN reports that California resident Rick Ehlert, 44, a passenger on the MS Ryndam, released the anchor and a life buoy between 5:25 a.m. and 5:55 a.m.

A surveillance video shows Ehlert taking multiple steps to deploy the anchor while the ship was in motion. The MS Ryndam’s maximum speed is 22 knots.

Ehlert confessed to dropping the ship’s anchor when questioned by special agents from the FBI. He admitted to being intoxicated at the time and detailed the multiple steps he took in deploying the anchor, including entering an area marked as off-limits to passengers. Yes entering an ‘off-limits’ area is the greatest crime here. Officials hate being ignored.

“There is probable cause to believe on November 27 that Rick Ehlert did attempt to damage, destroy, disable, or wreck a vessel,” FBI agent John Manning stated in an affidavit obtained by The Smoking Gun website.

Ehlert was arrested Sunday on a felony charge and taken into custody. He has not yet hired an attorney, according to the office of the magistrate who is handling the case.

This is typical FBI overkill. That he released the anchor is not in question and it had the potential to cause damage. But to imply that he was trying to “destroy, disable, or wreck” the vessel is well wide of the mark.

It is surprising that Ehlert hasn’t woken up in Guantanamo Bay. We shouldn’t joke though, he is probably being interogated by ‘contractors’ in Syria as we speak.

Holland America admit the MS Ryndam was unharmed, but the release of the anchor could have caused “significant damage to the ship’s rudder or propeller, which could disable the ship’s ability to maneuver, or puncturing of the ship, which could result in sinking or severe flooding.”

It is a wonder that the world hasn’t ended as a result of the butterfly effect of the unauthorised release of the anchor. Newswarped thinks that it might have been better for Rick if he jumped in the life boat he released along with the anchor. Maybe that would not have saved him though. If the FBI or Coast Guard picked him up he would probably be charged with attempted piracy.