Man charged over drunken ship incident

A man has been charged after releasing a ship’s 56,000-ton anchor while drunk.

A drunken Californian man has been charged after he admitted to releasing an anchor on a moving Holland America Line ship.

An FBI affidavit says Rick Ehlert, from Thousand Oaks, California, went into a restricted area on MS Ryndam, put on work gloves, released the rear anchor and threw a life buoy over board. The ship’s surveillance cameras recorded the incident, which had potential to sink the ship had it struck the below-water mechanics, and the footage shows Ehlert in the same formal wear he had worn at the previous night’s formal dinner.

The 44-year-old was charged with attempting to damage a vessel and endangering marine navigation although the 1,260-passenger ship wasn’t damaged in the incident and returned to Tampa on Sunday. Ryndam was sailing from Costa Maya in Mexico to Tampa, Florida.

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