Cruise passenger faces 20 years in prison following drunken anchor incident

An intoxicated cruise passenger could face imprisonment after he dropped the anchor of a moving Holland America Line cruise into the Caribbean ocean, while 1,950 passengers were on board.

Rick Ehlert, who later admitted he had been drinking, was onboard the 1, 260-passenger Florida-bound ship that was sailing from Costa Maya, when he released the 18-ton
anchor in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico last year.

According to reports, 49 year old Ehlert – who was identified from CCTV footage of the incident -could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250 fine, despite the fact that the ship was undamaged.

It is thought that releasing the anchor could have punctured the 719ft ship and caused it to sink or become flooded.

Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 elegant, mid-size ships offers more than 500 sailings a year visiting all seven continents.