US man charged with dropping cruise ship anchor

November 30, 2010 04:29

Florida — The FBI said a California man who says he was drunk dropped anchor on a moving cruise ship.

According to an FBI affidavit posted Monday on The Smoking Gun website, 44-year-old passenger Rick Ehlert entered a restricted area, put on work gloves and released the rear anchor on Holland America's MS Ryndam. It was heading from Costa Maya, Mexico, to Tampa, Florida.

Ehlert was in custody and faced federal charges of attempting to damage a vessel and endangering a ship's safe navigation. The ship was not damaged Saturday. But the FBI said the anchor could have punctured the ship and caused it to sink or severely flood.

The FBI said Ehlert acknowledged releasing the anchor and throwing a life buoy overboard.

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