California Passenger gets Sentenced for Cruise Ship Prank

ABC News reports on its website that the California passenger on a cruise ship, Rick Ehlert, 45-years of age, of Thousand Oaks, California, who I had previously reported about him dropping a stern anchor on the passenger cruise ship the M/S Rymdam, was sentenced to jail for two months. He pled guilty to being drunk onboard the cruise ship when he dropped the anchor during a sailing from Mexico to Florida.

Ehlert also had deployed a life buoy after he dropped the anchor.

The actions of Ehlert could have caused serious damage to the cruise ship’s rudder, or punctured it, possibly causing the cruise ship to sink. The cruise ship passenger also has to pay a $7,500.00 fine and attend substance abuse counseling.

In the light of the Costa Concordia’s sinking, I am sure Ehlert’s reckless actions got the sentencing judge’s attention. His explanation as to why he did such a foolish thing: “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.”

The cruise ship involved is operated by Holland American Lines out of Seattle, Washington.

Ehlert’s prank was caught on the surveillance cameras aboard the ship and can be viewed through youtube link.

Our firm is a Miami based maritime law firm handling all types of cases involving injuries and death at sea. We handle cruise ship cases as well as all types of boating accidents involving different types of watercraft.

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