The man who dropped anchor on Holland America’s ms Ryndam while the ship was moving will finally get his day in court after his defense attorney’s motion to appeal was denied by a U.S. district judge.
On the early morning on November 27, the ms Ryandam was on its way back to Tampa from Costa Maya, Mexico when drunken California resident Rick Ehlert, 45, broke into the control room and deployed the ships anchor while the vessel was moving.
Defense attorney Daniel Castillo tried to appeal the case by stating, “An alcohol-induced reckless act does not necessarily equate to a violation of federal criminal statutes.”
“He’s guilty of felony stupidity – that he is,” Castillo told a Florida newspaper. “But I don’t think it should be a federal crime.”
“Stupidity is not a defense to anything. Being “silly” is not a defense. Dropping an anchor when a cruise ship is going 20 knots is not “silly.” It’s reckless,” said cruise maritime attorney, Jim Walker.
We have tried to contact Daniel Castillo’s Tampa based office numerous times but our calls were not returned.
Deploying an anchor on a moving vessel could puncture the steel, damage the propulsion unit, or possibly sink the vessel.
The ms Ryndam is 55,819 tons, carries 1,258-passengers, and can travel 22 knots.