From LA Weekly:
To be honest, I'm really struggling with this one.
Of course, the device on his boat doesn't weight 28,000 to 50,000 pounds, as they do on massive cruise ships.
KTLA identified the...suspect as 44-year-old Rick Ehlert. Authorities said he dropped anchor as the Holland America's MS Ryndam cruised from Mexico to Florida early Saturday.
According to the FBI his alleged action could have sunk the ship.
Obviously, anyone stupid enough to try and drop the anchor of a moving cruise ship needs to have every sip of alcohol turn to into cat piss the second it hits his lips. This isn't a yokel tooling through the woods on an ATV while blacked out on moonshine (believe it or not, I'm referring to a relative of mine...smh), who can only harm himself; this is someone nearly sinking a giant ship full of people. "Party foul" isn't a strong enough term to properly describe Elhert's actions.
It's a cruise, not a frat party. I've never been on one, but what I hear from my friends who have is that all you do during a cruise is drink, eat, and relax. So why is Mr. Elhert even wandering around, fooling with anchors and mechanisms in the first place? Grab a deck chair, tip your waitress, spit game to cougars, and "chillax". At what point is a person's lapse of judgment so extreme that his or her BAC is no longer a plausible excuse? I'm guessing it's somewhere around the point when endangering yourself and thousands of other people in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico is a more intriguing option than enjoying free drinks and free "strange" in the sunshine and ocean air.
But, with all of that being said, I'm just as baffled by the fact that this guy could drop the anchor. How was he even allowed near the controls? What, did the captain give him a tour and turn his back for a few seconds, only to turn back as the button was being pushed? [Note: You know, the more I think about this story, it sounds like the actions of a 4 year old, not a 44 year old. Will his lawyer be using an insanity plea? I don't know how any judge or jury wouldn't set him free. "What is your evidence that Mr. Elhert isn't sane?" "Uhh, your honor, he DROPPED THE ANCHOR OF A MOVING CRUISE SHIP. The defense rests."] How does the concept of "this guy's slurring his breathing; maybe I shouldn't let him near the anchor controls" gets past those people given the responsibility of managing an ocean liner?
Rick Elhert, your Rummy Award's in the mail. Please try to avoid doing harm to yourself with it.