A Holland America cruise ship had an unusual experience when one of their passengers dropped the anchor while the ship was in motion. It is also alleged that the intoxicated passenger also released a buoy along with the anchor. According to a report, the actions could have resulted in damage to the ships propeller or rudder, and in addition could have caused puncturing of the ships hull.
In a CNN report it states that:
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, which is approximately 25 mph, according to Holland America’s website.
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.
“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 the affidavit.
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.
When I read this story I was amazed that a lone passenger could even drop the anchor. One would think in an era when security should be intense that the anchor would be secured in such a manner that only an authorized crew member could drop anchor. I would have also thought that the anchor could not be deployed while the ship was moving.