Getting Drunk And Releasing The Anchor On Your Cruise Ship Is Not Hilarious

Drunken antics aboard a cruise ship are nothing new. But some intoxicated chicanery goes beyond trashing your stateroom after a few too many tequila sunrises on the Lido deck. Take for example the moron aboard a Holland Cruise ship who thought it would be all laugh-tastic to release the ship’s anchor while the vessel was cruising in international waters.

The MS Ryndam was traveling from Costa Maya, Mexico, to Tampa with over 1,800 people on board when the anchor was released and a life buoy was thrown overboard.

The incident caused the ship’s captain to sound the emergency alarm and muster all passengers and crew on deck for a head count.

Ultimately, they were able to identify the passenger — a 44-year-old man from California — from surveillance video.

From The Smoking Gun:

In an interview yesterday with federal agents, [the passenger], who was traveling with his girlfriend, admitted to deploying the ship’s anchor and throwing the life buoy overboard. During his confession, [the passenger] admitted entering a restricted area, donning work gloves, and taking several steps to release the anchor. [The passenger], who said he was drunk at the time, “stated that he owns a fifty foot boat with a similar anchor system to the ship’s anchor system.”

Anchor Drop Lands Cruise Passenger In Brig []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    A fifty-foot boat with an anchor similar to a cruise-ship’s?

    Hmmmmm… y’know, I don’t think this guy’s entirely on the level. Might’ve had one too many to drink…

    • ubermex says:

      He probably does, though. The cruise ship’s systems are just going to be bigger, but potentially made by the same company with the same basic controls and things.

      • Firethorn says:

        A Semi has basically the same controls as a honda civic – steering wheel, gas, break, shifter.

        For the ships – once you get a motor involved in raising/lowering the anchor, the controls would logically be pretty similar. Some form of safety, then a clutch/retardation system for dropping it, something to hook the motor in for raising it and perhaps a more controlled form of dropping it.

    • INDBRD says:

      the anchor system is the similar… doesn’t not mean the anchor is the same… as I’m sure the anchor for the shit is quite larger then the anchor on his 50ft boat…

  2. Power Imbalance says:

    California, figures.

    • danmac says:

      Yes, it figures that the most populous state in the union has its fair share of asshats. I wouldn’t say they’re overrepresented, however; that’s just your confirmation bias talking.

      • Power Imbalance says:

        I think we can all agree that California has a significantly higher proportion of “asshats” highly localized in San Fran and the 9th court.

    • rubicthecube says:

      Most people who live in California are from other states. They give Californians a bad rep.

  3. JeremieNX says:

    I was so expecting it to be a disgruntled employee……

  4. George4478 says:

    Does TSA maintain a “no-cruise” list?

  5. GMFish says:

    I think that anyone who uses “I was drunk” as an excuse should have an automatic ten years added to their sentence.

  6. iggy21 says:

    I demand that anchors be banned from cruise ships forthwith!

  7. Sardis says:

    Yeah, the passenger is an idiot, but it’s the ships fault for leaving the door unlocked

    • Murph1908 says:


      You can’t be serious. Your comment implies that an unlocked door absolves stupid and reckless behavior.

      • vastrightwing says:

        AKA “an attractive nuisance”

        • Murph1908 says:

          This is fine when it comes to protecting kids from dangerous areas, like a half-filled swimming pool. But it is overly used as a way to blame someone else for your own stupidity.

          In this case, we’re talking about a grown, supposedly intelligent grown man who did something extremely stupid.

      • AI says:

        An unlocked door, leading to a restricted area with the capability of causing several operational and safety issues, aboard a ship who’s function is to entertain guests by getting them drunk, is most definitely the cruise ship’s fault.

        You can’t cater to drunk people and then expect drunk people not to touch things they’re not supposed to. You lock that shit down so they can’t.

        • Murph1908 says:

          Yes, the door should have been locked. But his comment tried to clear the drunken idiot of any responsibility for his actions.

  8. MercuryPDX says:

    Old and busted: Deploying the Emergency Slide
    New Hotness: Dropping Anchor

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      That really only works if the person who dropped anchor was an employee; the person in this story was a drunk cruise-goer. :/

      But I get the joke regardless ;D

      • MercuryPDX says:

        Ah… a group of my friends and I use it as a euphemism for going to the bathroom.

        She: “Where’s Bill?”
        He: “Off deploying the emergency slide.”

        • perruptor says:

          Well now if he’s not deploying the slide, Bill can be off “dropping the anchor,” if you know what I mean.

  9. brianisthegreatest says:

    Wow, I guess this guy realized after this was not a good idea. I can’t speak for the mind of a drunk man, but I do wonder what were the mental ques that lead up to this event.

  10. TooManyHobbies says:

    What would be especially hilarious would be if the anchor ripped up some undersea cabling, and they took his 50 foot boat and maybe his house and cars to help offset the repair bill.

  11. KhaiJB says:

    so the ship did a handbrake (anchor) turn?

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      Driftin’- Cruise Ship Style!

    • jtheletter says:

      Is it still considered ‘drifting’ if the engines are powered at sea?

    • Angus99 says:

      The nautical term is club-hauling. I remember that from reading Hornblower!

    • Ubernostrom says:

      Let’s say the ship is cruising at about 20 knots in a straight line, one of two things would’ve happened if the anchor had actually bitten into the ocean floor. Either the anchor/chain/etc. would’ve, literally, been torn out of the ship. Or the ship would’ve taken a nosedive. Either way it sinks, and some drunk retard kills 1000 people.

  12. lymer says:


  13. Straspey says:

    This story is really weighing me down.

    That guy’s antic seemed a little heavy-handed, if you ask me.

    People like this can be such a drag.

  14. Consumer David says:

    I disagree with the headline. It IS hilarious!

  15. Odwalla says:

    It’s good he has a 50′ boat. Selling it will give him some money to put to his defense for all of the civil claims the other passengers are invariably going to serve him with.

  16. Blueskylaw says:

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son

  17. Hoss says:

    He likely entered the cabin thinking he could sound the horns a few times, then he saw a big button that says “Down Anchor”.

    I wonder where this get tried? The Hague?

    • AI says:

      The Netherlands

    • leprofie says:

      Try him on the high seas! Let him walk the plank!

    • Difdi says:

      Might not get to a court. Under international law, a captain of a ship in international waters has some pretty intense authority over the ship and the people aboard. Up to and including execution, in some circumstances. If the idiot makes it to a courtroom, it will be in whatever country the ship is registered in, which is almost certainly not the USA, so US laws wouldn’t apply to the idiot.

  18. bdgbill says:

    This is why I have resisted my wife’s attempts to get us on a cruise ship. I do not want to be trapped on a boat for a week or more with the “drink until you puke” crowd.

  19. packcamera says:

    Hey Chris – you may want to fix the typo in the story. The cruise line is named “Holland America Line” not “Holland Cruise” as typed.

    HAL is owned by Carnival group (as nearly all cruise lines are). The way you have typed it out, it seems like the ship was navigating out of Holland, something that HAL hasn’t done in decades.

  20. EcPercy says:

    After the guy that hit the slide and stole some beers on the airplane… it would have been awesome if this was an employee and he hit the anchor and punched out on the captain’s motor launch…