Drunk cruise passenger jailed for dropping anchor

Ruth Doherty

Drunk cruise passenger Rick Ehlert  jailed for dropping anchor
Drunk cruise passenger Rick Ehlert jailed for dropping anchor


A cruise ship passenger has been jailed for two months after getting drunk and dropping the vessel's anchor.

Rick Ehlert, 45, from California, reportedly drank martinis all night, before sneaking into an out-of-bounds area and releasing the 18-ton anchor, according to newser.com.

In an apology letter to the ship's captain, he wrote: "Many people have asked me why I dropped the anchor.

"I believe that I was intrigued by the machinery, and curious to see if I could operate it. I do remember trying to stop the anchor once it started moving, but it just kept going faster."

Mr Ehlert, who was a passenger on the MS Ryndam, travelling from Mexico to Florida, was "intoxicated to the point where he was not functioning in a rational and coherent manner," said his lawyer.

Ehlert also tossed a life preserver overboard, after intending to keep it as a souvenir. The emergency lights started flashing, so he threw it, raising the alarm that someone had jumped overboard.

He then didn't respond to the captain's plea for the person who had thrown it to come forward, which meant that all of the 1,600 cruise passengershad to get up before dawn and head to the emergency stations to be counted.

As well as sentencing him to prison for two months, the sentencing judge ruled Mr Ehlert would also have to attend substance abuse counselling for what he called a "bothersome crime".

Ehlert's actions were actually caught on surveillance footage, which was shown to the court, according to the Daily Mail.

He is seen making his way to an an off-limits area of the deck, where, the Tampa Tribune reported, he noticed the anchor and put on a pair of work gloves, removed a cable attached to the anchor, turned a handle and released the brake.

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