Dropping Anchor: American Releases Anchor on Cruise Ship in Drunken Gag

Rick Ehlert, 44, wanted a memorable cruise on the Holland America MS Ryndam and he certainly got it. The Californian is facing both criminal and civil liability after he reportedly dropped the anchor of the cruise ship and deployed a life bouy.

Police say that Ehlert admitted to being drunk at the time and that he succeeded in carrying out a series of steps to drop the anchor while the ship was in motion. The result was “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.” I guess a snapshot on the bow was not enough as a keepsake.

Ehlert was captured on surveillance tape as he figured out how to drop the anchor.

He has been charged with a felony and will also likely face a civil lawsuit from the company.

Source: CNN

21 thoughts on “Dropping Anchor: American Releases Anchor on Cruise Ship in Drunken Gag”

  1. Bud,

    I know. As I said, something doesn’t seem right about it.

    Insightful comment on your part, IMO… referring to your comment at 3:44 pm

  2. Could he have been so drunk that he thought he was on his own boat???

    Yeah sure… But he must have one hell of an impressive 50 foot boat…

  3. I’m inclined to agree with Bud, but who knows… Something about it doesn’t seem quite right, but it might just be the case of a drunk guy releasing an anchor…

    Could he have been so drunk that he thought he was on his own boat???

  4. From the link at the end of this comment:

    “According to investigators, Ehlert admitted the offence claiming he was drunk at the time. He also explained that the liner’s anchor system was similar to that of his own 50ft boat.”

    There’s a picture of the guy…. who donned “work gloves”, in the process…

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1334384/Cruise-passenger-Ryan-Ehlert-drops-anchor-middle-Gulf-Mexico.html#ixzz16tY1mxuD

    Thanks for the numerous, humorous commments… 🙂

  5. PatricParamedic 1, December 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    “Why would something as critical to ship operations like anchor controls be where a passenger could get at them in the first place?”

    That’s a great question PatricP.

    CNN does not give all the details obviously, but I question why the CFC (cops for corporations) — I’m sorry I meant the FBI was involved at all. The cruise ship industry has an astronomical number of rapes robberies assaults and homicides each year. The US and world governments refuse to investigate these crimes, because they happen in international waters. Did that happen in this case? Or was it a case of one human being showing the weakness of a billion dollar outfit and I understand there was no real damage to the vessel or crew. You would think that HAL would want to keep this quiet.

  6. “Why would something as critical to ship operations like anchor controls be where a passenger could get at them in the first place?”

    I suspect when they spent their millions on ship design, making every moving part ‘American’ proof’ wasn’t a discussion that came up.

  7. If this guy could do this much damage while drunk, maybe we can get him to join the Navy Seals. His talents are clearly wasted on pranks.

  8. Was he drinking the fine beer Anchor Steam? He may have thought he was simply ordering another drink.

  9. Were I captain of that ship, there would be another object hitting the water shortly after the anchor, followed by the furtive cry of, “Fool Overboard!”

  10. I think the cruise company will be reviewing its security policies after this stupid episode. Hey, he thought he was on a bus and he pulled the rope to alert the driver/Captain that is stop was next! One expensive gag!

  11. And a Lucky man he was….There was NO DAMAGE. They charged him with Attempt and that was all….Now as to civil liability…the damages are speculative….He did enter an area marked off limits to passengers…I can see how he could do that..he will be stuck with that charge I am sure and probably banned from any other travel under the Holland American Banner…He is lucky that he did not become shark bait, learn how to swim with weights or float until he bloats….

  12. Pete,

    Well that certainly explains it. Velvet ropes are notorious slackers. They don’t always stick around dutifully like trusty post-it notes.

  13. @ BIL

    Because the “No Passenger Access” velvet rope cordon wasn’t put up.

    Lucky he didn’t discover the fire/flood control panel sealed off by “Don’t Touch, Please” post-it-notes.

  14. Why would something as critical to ship operations like anchor controls be where a passenger could get at them in the first place?

  15. It probably had those handy language-free illustrations on it.

    Button 1: LOCK SYMBOL

    Switch 2: ANCHOR SPASHING INTO THE WATER SYMBOL

    This reminds me a of classic Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy moment when Arthur Dent and his travelling companion arrive in a futuristic spaceship;

    Dent: This is my idea of spaceship! I wonder what happens if I
    press this button?

    Ford: I wouldn’t! (Arthur presses it).

    Ford: What happened?

    Dent: I sign lit up saying “Please do not press this button again!”

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