CCTV identified a 44-year-old California man as the person who released the anchor of a cruise ship while in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.
Authorities say Rick Ehlert, who was a passenger on board a Holland America’s MS Ryndam, was drunk when he released the anchor of the 1,260 passenger liner, as the vessel made its way from Costa Maya in Mexico to Tampa, Florida last Saturday.
It’s been reported that CCTV on the ship captured Ehlert sneaking into a restricted area on the eleventh deck of the vessel wearing working gloves, then releasing the rear anchor before throwing a lifebuoy over the railings.
Once the prank was discovered, the captain made an announcement asking passengers for information. When no one came forwards all passengers were ordered on deck and Ehlert was identified from CCTV footage.
Ehlert faces federal charges of attempting to damage a vessel and endangering a ship’s safe navigation.
The ship was not damaged but FBI says the anchor could have punctured the ship and caused it to sink or severely flood.