Man faces 20 years jail for dropping ship’s anchor

August 21st, 2011 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 21 (IANS) A cruise ship passenger is facing about 20 years in prison besides an over 151,000 pounds ($250,000) fine for dropping the anchor of the moving vessel in a drunken state.

Ehlert conceded his offence, stating that he was drunk at the time. He also explained that the liner’s anchor system was similar to that of his own 50ft boat, said investigators.

According to prosecutors in Florida, 45-year-old Rick Ehlert pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to damage a maritime facility, Daily Mail reported.

Authorities said, the ship MS Ryndam was Tampa-bound from Mexico’s Costa Maya when Ehlert put on work gloves and released the anchor of the 1,260-passenger ship in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico Nov 27 2010.

A surveillance video showed Ehlert entering a restricted area and dropping the 18-tonne stern anchor.

According to investigators, the Holland-America ship avoided damage as the anchor didn’t hit the sea floor.

Releasing the rear anchor could have punctured the 719-foot ship and caused it to sink or be severely flooded, the FBI said.

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