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LauraS
November 30th, 2010, 06:20 AM
Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

Man Arrested for Dropping Cruise Ship Anchor

Read the entire news article... (http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4251)

hamfiveo
November 30th, 2010, 06:50 AM
Oh wow... I'm glad these areas are locked and secured. Not.

I admit I may do reckless things when I'm intoxicated, but I think I would know better than to drop a ship anchor! What was he thinking?

captbill
November 30th, 2010, 09:51 AM
If anybody is wondering what a permanently banned passenger looks like, his photo is in this article: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/drunk/anchor-drop-lands-cruise-passenger-brig

woodofpine
November 30th, 2010, 10:05 AM
Smoking Gun and CC have pretty accurately reported what occurred from a passenger perspective. At about 7:15AM, the Captain announced that the aft anchor had been 'engaged' (meaning exactly what?) by someone at about 5:25AM and that a ring/buoy was tossed from an upper deck at about 5:55AM. I wondered when the bridge became aware of the anchor 'engagement' as the ring toss was nearly half hour later... The Captain indicated that a rescue manuever had been undertaken to retrieve the ring.

The Captain encouraged (ie. demanded) that the responsible party step forward (nada) or general muster and head count would be required; this followed about 15 minutes later (and took about 75-90 minutes).

Mr. Ehlert's name was announced prior to disembark (with others as the time presumed to have payment or other issues). This prompts me to believe or wonder whether he was approached by authorities first at that time (sandbagged for questioning with FBI already onboard) or whether ship security onboard interfaced with him earlier. Obviously, behind the scenes investigation was underway Saturday.

With no disrepect to HAL (I greatly enjoyed the cruise) there were certain systems accessible by passengers that surprised me. Ehlert reportedly entered a restricted area and went to fairly great lengths to undertake his 'criminal mischief' as to the anchor. But in a couple of exterior oriented passageway areas of Ryndam there are fire suppression switches and buttons on multiple exposed electrical boxes that appear to be an open invitation to the irresponsible... Sorry to say that passengers have to be treated like children.

The muster itself was orderly and uneventful. Having represented individuals on criminal charges in Federal District Court (Tampa). I am going to guestimate that this charade will directly cost Mr. Ehlert $50,000 - $100,000 after fines and legal fees are paid (maybe more) regardless of whether formal adjudication (ie. felony conviction) is earned or avoided.

captbill
November 30th, 2010, 10:30 AM
Having represented individuals on criminal charges in Federal District Court (Tampa). I am going to guestimate that this charade will directly cost Mr. Ehlert $50,000 - $100,000 after fines and legal fees are paid (maybe more) regardless of whether formal adjudication (ie. felony conviction) is earned or avoided.


I'm not an attorney, but I'm guessing that whoever winds up defending Mr Ehlert will be banging their head on the wall because the accused stated "the anchor system was similar to the one on the 50' boat he owns". In my mind, that demonstrates he possessed knowledge of possible hazards, and still exhibited a blatant disregard for the safety of vessel, crew and passengers.

If this incident went down as reported, then Mr Ehlert deserves whatever he gets. In a marked change from everything else reported on Cruise Critic, I suspect we all agree on this one!:cool:

Cuizer2
November 30th, 2010, 11:13 AM
And people complain about kids splashing in the pool.

A review of surveillance video identified Rick Ehlert, 44, as the passenger who released the anchor (as well as a life buoy). Manning noted that Ehlert was seen in the surveillance footage wearing the same clothing he was photographed in Friday while attending the ship’s formal night (for men, attire can range from a tuxedo to a jacket and tie).

Apparently classy clothing does not mean a classy person is wearing it.

rl3226
November 30th, 2010, 11:24 AM
here is my first "why" is, why is there not better security in these ships..there are people out their that are always looking to do harm to as many people as they can...My second "why" is why get on a cruise ship to spoil everyones good time..dont blame being drunk for this...because many of us get drunk on cruises...and dont do these kinds of things.

24butterfly
November 30th, 2010, 12:24 PM
What WAS he thinking ??? (Excuse me--he WASN'T.)
What a total idiot!
Now I think I've heard everything.

RCfanNdallas
November 30th, 2010, 02:57 PM
Kinda scary that with just a little bit of knowledge, an anchor can be released just like that. The Ryndam is an older ship...makes me wonder how easy it would be on say, Oasis or Allure...surely newer ships have more sophisticated and protected systems...

Trevoli
November 30th, 2010, 03:18 PM
If the offending party was identified through video footage, why muster everybody else?

It should go without saying... what a total moron. And, he's 44 y.o.!!! Not exactly a kid. I hope they throw the book at him. Luckily, nothing bad happened, but the potential damage he could have caused, including loss of life? Unbelieveable...

m steve
November 30th, 2010, 03:50 PM
and wondered what was happening. I did hear a cabin door slam at about 5:30 am and thought it might be a jogger going out. I wonder if he was in a cabin in our area. I wonder as well since they had the video why the muster?

xeriod
November 30th, 2010, 04:21 PM
and wondered what was happening. I did hear a cabin door slam at about 5:30 am and thought it might be a jogger going out. I wonder if he was in a cabin in our area. I wonder as well since they had the video why the muster?

The muster drill was to account for all passengers as the buoy in the water would indicate someone went overboard.

smeyer418
November 30th, 2010, 07:17 PM
Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

Man Arrested for Dropping Cruise Ship Anchor

Read the entire news article... (http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4251)

actually I think they mean he released it....not that he dropped it....

pseudochicken
November 30th, 2010, 10:57 PM
My question as to the why:

WHY do you bother going on a cruise ship when you have your own 50ft yacht!? I mean, seriously...

Secondly, as far as the video surveillance goes, I would guess that it took a while before they could identify who the culprit was and watch through all the footage before they could determine that no one went over board. I am sure that would take a lot of time. So, in the meantime, do a muster drill and take a head count to see if the ship really DOES need to take measures in rescuing someone from the ocean.

cabincop
November 30th, 2010, 11:34 PM
I hope he is fined at least 100large, as a retired cop I wonder if cruise ships have hot sheets like we did at every roll call we recieved pixs of suspects and any info. Also can't believe that room was unlocked I hope someone screwed up and forgot to lock it if not pie on the face of whoever. I do know security on NCL walks the corriders of the paxs cabins around bar ending time. Somehow I think they never thought a passenger would go into that area which should be restricted and actually do something, but, with terrorism on everyones mind they should have!

secretadvisor
December 1st, 2010, 12:33 AM
To be honest, restricted areas such as the forward mooring station, engine room and bridge remain secured. The aft mooring deck is one of the few areas that hasn't been secured, and I'm sure that will be rectified in future.
To release this anchor, is a multiple step process, and required removal of several lashings before paying out the anchor.
The point of security is getting ridiculous, can grown adults not be trusted around anything anymore without doing something stupid or injuring themselves and suing everyone involved. What on earth is the world coming to when you have to protect people from their own stupidity in every aspect. The stern anchor doesn't have indications on the bridge on this vessel, unlike the bow. The bridge team would not have been monitoring the CCTV whilst busy on watch at night. But the security on the rounds would have probably been the first to pick up on this, if not reported via front office from passengers being awoken by the noise (point, always report unusual noises to front office, they are always taken seriously).

Quote from my HAL forum post

Regardless his information is inaccurate. The anchor is not a stream anchor. It is in fact a stern anchor, and could not solely hold this vessel on its own. It's generally used to stabilise the ship once the forward anchor has been deployed, keeping the vessel in a single direction preventing the vessel from swinging either due to limited searoom or to maintain a lee during tender operations.

Full deployment of this anchor would unlikely have had severe consequences (although no-one can be sure, as I've never known a situation of the stern anchor being deployed at full sea speed), and would most likely have resulted in the chain parting. With a full deployment it would have been almost impossible to recover onboard, and may have had to been released and buoyed off.

The situation was a lucky escape, in terms of not losing the anchor, and whilst reckless, probably isn't that dangerous alone. The mentality of someone deciding to do this without knowing that, is more worrying.

The anchor will have had 2 forms of lashings on it, before it could have been engaged, consisting of a stopper bar and wire lashings on turnbuckles. So it's not a completely simple and quick procedure to release it. The stern anchor has no bridge controls, and cannot be monitored from the bridge, unlike the forward anchors. The stern anchor is rarely used on these vessels, as it's got a few design flaws which make it difficult to recover.

Hope this helps clarify.

Also, the procedures and actions taken on HAL, are almost identical to those on all other major cruise lines as to security in mooring decks and reaction (mustering for lifebuoy etc).

drgmedz
December 1st, 2010, 09:38 AM
Can you believe it that a 44 year old adult man would be so stupid and selfish as to endanger three thousand people. MY suggestion...send him to Gitmo for a few years. What a moron!!!

DeputyDog325
December 1st, 2010, 09:42 AM
Have some more $12.00 drinks !!!!!!!!!!!

jpver
December 1st, 2010, 12:25 PM
I read in one of the articles that the guy was on board with his girlfriend. Was it after a dispute that he went out? Probably she did not know his intentions because otherwise she was supposed to inform the staff!!

p4b
December 1st, 2010, 12:41 PM
The anchor and anchor chain weigh hundreds of tons. This could have been a major event, with significant damage to the ship. Some folks ask how this can happen, there are two things here.

1. Foreign flagged ships do not have to comply with most US Coast Guard requirements, this is a very long story. But that is a factor here. Safety is not a big item.
That rear anchor is accessible to all and it is a hazard for sure.

2. The drunk who did this has demonstrated he knows how to release the anchor (it is easy) and that he can apply his stupidity to many situations, even at sea. He has also shown how drinking at sea and excessive boozing is a big thing and makes big money for the companies. They really push it. We never buy a drink on a cruise.

So, you do not have to agree, but the ship has made a major hazard available, they should be fined. The drunk dummy should do some real jail time and be fined, sell his RV agency and give the money to charity.

Signed: Former Marine Engineer

Cuizer2
December 1st, 2010, 12:47 PM
So, you do not have to agree, but the ship has made a major hazard available, they should be fined. The drunk dummy should do some real jail time and be fined, sell his RV agency and give the money to charity.

Signed: Former Marine Engineer

What is with the blame the victim mentality? Perhaps we should blame the manufacturer of the glass that the drinks were in, since without that the person could not have had the drink. No wait, lets blame the person who sold him the cruise, since that person should have told the passenger not to drink and do stupid things. Or, maybe we should blame the people who empower others not to take responsibility for themselves by blaming the victims.

Signed: Current Responsible Adult.

navychop3
December 1st, 2010, 02:10 PM
It is my understanding that an uncontrolled release of a stern anchor under certain conditions could result in damage to hull, rudder(s) and/or prop(s).

Anchors are not cheap. Loss of one at sea would require a very expensive replacement, or a very expensive recovery process.

CCATS
December 1st, 2010, 03:44 PM
I would not blame the cruise lines if they cut off drinks after two !!!! and since when did "I was drunk" become a legitmate excuse -- is no one embarrassed when they're an adult, take a couple drinks, then do child-like pranks!!!

secretadvisor
December 1st, 2010, 07:41 PM
The anchor and anchor chain weigh hundreds of tons. This could have been a major event, with significant damage to the ship. Some folks ask how this can happen, there are two things here.

1. Foreign flagged ships do not have to comply with most US Coast Guard requirements, this is a very long story. But that is a factor here. Safety is not a big item.
That rear anchor is accessible to all and it is a hazard for sure.

2. The drunk who did this has demonstrated he knows how to release the anchor (it is easy) and that he can apply his stupidity to many situations, even at sea. He has also shown how drinking at sea and excessive boozing is a big thing and makes big money for the companies. They really push it. We never buy a drink on a cruise.

So, you do not have to agree, but the ship has made a major hazard available, they should be fined. The drunk dummy should do some real jail time and be fined, sell his RV agency and give the money to charity.

Signed: Former Marine Engineer

These vessels apply to standards above and beyond SOLAS and beyond any US Coastguard regulations. Safety is a big item.

In the US, people seem to expect that they should be protected from themselves and blame everyone else for their own actions. It seems we need to make these ships 'American' proof.

runnerandme
December 1st, 2010, 09:50 PM
I think HAL got off lucky. No one was hurt. The anchor was not lost. The ship was not damaged. BUT this release lever, etc. should have been locked. Even if the area could not be secured, the equipment should be.

I hope that all cruise lines now look at their unsecured areas, equipment , etc. and take heed. I do not want to be on a ship when a drunk, or otherwise idiot, pulls a stunt like this.

I value my family's safety, the cruiseline should also.

smeyer418
December 1st, 2010, 11:33 PM
.... BUT this release lever, etc. should have been locked. Even if the area could not be secured, the equipment should be.



thats right lock it so in emergency you can't find the key. Sometimes things need not to be locked.

I suspect having it locked is a violation. do you think the lifeboats are locked?

c-legs
December 1st, 2010, 11:35 PM
what is with the blame the victim mentality? Perhaps we should blame the manufacturer of the glass that the drinks were in, since without that the person could not have had the drink. No wait, lets blame the person who sold him the cruise, since that person should have told the passenger not to drink and do stupid things. Or, maybe we should blame the people who empower others not to take responsibility for themselves by blaming the victims.

Signed: Current responsible adult.

well said !! Thank you

c-legs
December 1st, 2010, 11:36 PM
these vessels apply to standards above and beyond solas and beyond any us coastguard regulations. Safety is a big item.

In the us, people seem to expect that they should be protected from themselves and blame everyone else for their own actions. It seems we need to make these ships 'american' proof.

right on !!
Well said
thank you

mzspyc1
December 2nd, 2010, 12:03 AM
Can someone please tell me that he will be banned from ALL cruise lines until he dies or grows up, whichever comes first? :eek:

Cuizer2
December 2nd, 2010, 12:11 AM
Can someone please tell me that he will be banned from ALL cruise lines until he dies or grows up, whichever comes first? :eek:

Why don't you e-mail the CEOs of all the other cruise lines and ask them. Then don't forget to come back here and let us know the results. :)

JLC@SD
December 2nd, 2010, 12:38 AM
the accused stated "the anchor system was similar to the one on the 50' boat he owns".

.....correction........similar to the 50' boat HAL will soon own........;):D

Cuizer2
December 2nd, 2010, 02:11 AM
.....correction........similar to the 50' boat HAL will soon own........;):D

There has been a criminal act. That could result in jail time, a fine, probation, or some other punishment. Since HAL suffered no damage, I doubt that there will be a civil lawsuit, so he'll keep his boat, unless he has to sell it to pay the criminal fine.

navychop3
December 2nd, 2010, 10:27 AM
I think HAL got off lucky. No one was hurt. The anchor was not lost. The ship was not damaged. BUT this release lever, etc. should have been locked. Even if the area could not be secured, the equipment should be.

I hope that all cruise lines now look at their unsecured areas, equipment , etc. and take heed. I do not want to be on a ship when a drunk, or otherwise idiot, pulls a stunt like this.

I value my family's safety, the cruiseline should also.


I believe it has been posted that it is not a trivial act to release the anchor. There are two sets of restraints, and operation is not straightforward. A casual person would not know or likely be able to figure out how to release it. He stated he knew how to release it because he had a similar design on his 50' boat.

There is no absolute protection against all forms of stupidity.

captbill
December 2nd, 2010, 10:41 AM
I know how to release an anchor, but I can honestly say it never occurred to me to do so as a passenger of a moving vessel.

It's also never occurred to me to open the emergency exit doors on an airplane while in flight, or to crawl out the exit window of a bus traveling down the highway.

I agree with navychop3 ... You can't fix stupid!

corey6
December 2nd, 2010, 10:43 AM
Hes a dufuss, maybe some better security procedures too, and seems was wrapped up much faster than some murder investigations aboard these vessels, though I guess he was in a limited area so easier to catch him...maybe was game of truth or dare? yes lifetime banning would be good..banished haha

larry1515
December 2nd, 2010, 12:55 PM
First of all why is security so lax or non existant? Second why would the captain admit that he treated his guests like children? Doesn't sound like a cruise line I want to sail with.

smeyer418
December 2nd, 2010, 04:51 PM
http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/2010-12-02-man-who-released-cruise-ship-anchor-faces-20-years-prison/

maritime exec reports that he faces 20 years in Jail and a $250,000 fine(maximum of course). I am sure the guideline sentence(the guidelines are what judges used to HAVE to give for a violation- the US Supreme court has made them merely suggestions but most times the judges follow them)...is less- anything from probation to a maximum of a year or two and about a $10,000.

BTW the Maritime exec reports also says released and not dropped....they used a better editor and a more precise use of the word.

glorya
December 2nd, 2010, 05:31 PM
No, I wasn't on board and I am thankful for that because I would have probably been arrested for putting the anchor chain around this jerk's neck and tossing him overboard. I sincerely hope he goes to prison!

prescottbob
December 2nd, 2010, 07:33 PM
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1316027


Be well.
Bob

Supervisor42
December 2nd, 2010, 10:48 PM
No, I wasn't on board and I am thankful for that because I would have probably been arrested for putting the anchor chain around this jerk's neck and tossing him overboard. I sincerely hope he goes to prison!
Rest assured he will do hard time. He was arrested by the FBI not Tampa Police. Since it is a homeland-security issue, they WILL make an example out of him.
I bet if you listen on a quiet night years from now, you'll be able to hear the wind whistling thru his booty hole.
I was on the cruise and here are videos of us being mustered (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqJZu8GnAqY) and of the captain giving the "all-clear" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5u4UWApNO0) after the headcount.
You wouldn't have been the only one wanting to watch him "walk the plank"....

smeyer418
December 3rd, 2010, 12:22 AM
BTW I filed out the guideline sentence form and assuming he admits his guilt the guideline sentence(roughly) is 27-33 months and a fine of $6-60,000.00

mconthehighseas
December 3rd, 2010, 03:35 AM
I am amazed at what people will do. Yes, the area around the anchor should have been secured better, and I'll bet the poor crewmember who didn't secure it is having a very bad month.

But this is HAL!! While they are going for a younger crowd these days, this is not the line to choose if you want to go wild and crazy! I am very glad to know that there are surveillance cameras to track down large children who pull stunts like this.

The thing that crossed my mind is that this was a day at sea, and if we were on the ship, my DH would be pretty P.O'd if he had to wake up early for a muster on a morning that he had planned to sleep late! There would be one more person putting that chain around Mr. Ehlert's neck.

Brighton Line
December 3rd, 2010, 09:23 AM
On my NCL Jewel cruise we were walking around the promenade deck, as you go by the bow it is enclosed and there are two doors forward. One day the door (actually a hatch) was open and I looked in (did not enter, took a picture though) it was the "Chain locker" the two forward anchor chain lifts with the stored chain were there. Though the area is noisy from blowers I did not see or hear anyone. I could have entered, found it strange the only thing protecting this area were the two cameras back out on the public promenade walking path.
Though not blaming the crew, I guess it can happen that security is forgotten.

padrek
August 20th, 2011, 08:16 PM
I agree completely with those who explain above how a stern anchor is housed and released. Please note that the article states that he dropped the anchor from Deck 11 - a deck that does not go to the stern as it overlooks the aft pool. He may have thrown the life ring from there; however, although the controls may be in the stern area of deck 5 - Main Deck, the anchor was probably housed still lower down on either deck 2 or 3.

navychop3
August 21st, 2011, 12:24 PM
Anyone have any more recent info?