Crew Member Arrested Following Incident on Alaska Cruise Ship

A South African crew member, Ntando Sogoni, was arrested after allegedly attacking multiple people aboard Norwegian Encore during an Alaska cruise earlier this week.

norwegian encore in alaska
Norwegian Encore in Alaska (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

The event was detailed in a release from the U.S. Department of Justice and a criminal affidavit from the FBI. Sogoni attacked multiple people, including a 75-year-old woman, with a pair of medical scissors. The incident occurred on the morning of May 6 after Sogoni was seen trying to deploy a lifeboat for no apparent reason.

The ship’s security team responded quickly, taking Sogoni to the onboard medical center to assess his mental and physical state. However, he physically assaulted a security guard and a male nurse inside the examination room.

The scuffle then moved to another examination room, where Sogoni attacked two more security guards who intervened to detain him.

NCL told us in a statement:

“On May 6, 2024, a newly employed crew member was observed exhibiting unusual and irrational behavior. The ship’s security team escorted the crew member to the medical center for evaluation and assessment, where he became violent without provocation, attacking two other crew members and a guest. The security team quickly detained him, and the onboard medical staff treated those involved for non-life-threatening injuries.

The relevant law enforcement authorities were immediately contacted and took custody of the crew member once the ship arrived in Juneau, Alaska.

We condemn violent behavior of this nature and are committed to the safety and security of all crew members and guests on our ships. We commend the onboard security team for their brave actions. 

Senior ship leadership have been actively engaged and continue to closely monitor all involved with the support of senior company executives who immediately traveled to Juneau to meet, escort and assist the guest. 

We will continue to assist the relevant authorities in the ongoing investigation.”

– A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line
juneau alaska port
Juneau, Alaska

The victims’ names have not been released to protect their privacy, but authorities say the injuries were not life-threatening. The FBI took Sogoni into custody shortly after the ship docked in Juneau, Alaska, on May 7.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office says, “Sogoni is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon within maritime and territorial jurisdiction in violation of 18 U.S.C. §113(a)(3). If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”

Public areas are typically monitored with state-of-the-art CCTV surveillance cameras, allowing security team members to respond quickly and efficiently to onboard incidents.

The Norwegian Encore will continue its voyage with no delays or itinerary changes. Norwegian Encore sails seven-night cruises to Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria, British Columbia, departing from Seattle, Washington.

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