Man Who Released Cruise Ship Anchor Faces Up To 20 Years in Prison

Forty-four year old Rick Ehlert faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for releasing the rear anchor of a moving cruise ship.

On Saturday, November 27, Ehlert allegedly entered a restricted area onboard Holland America’s RYNDAM, where he released the ships rear anchor. The 1,260 passenger cruise ship was travelling from Tampa to Costa Maya, Mexico when the incident occurred.

Ehlert has told authorities that he was drunk and that the release was similar to the anchor release on his 50-foot yacht.

The FBI has charged the California with attempting to destroy, damage or wreck a vessel and attempting to damage the navigation of a ship.

Ehlert was caught on camera releasing the anchor and was also seen tossing a life buoy overboard.

Officials are also investigating how the man was able to gain access to the restricted area.