Cruise ship worker arrested, accused of stabbing 3 people with scissors

FILE - An employee onboard the Norwegian Encore cruise ship was arrested on May 7, 2024, after he allegedly stabbed three people onboard the vessel with a pair of scissors. Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

An employee onboard a cruise ship was arrested by FBI officials in Juneau, Alaska, on Tuesday after he allegedly stabbed three people on the vessel with scissors.

According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, the incident took place Monday onboard the Norwegian Encore cruise ship, owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines. The ship had been en route to Alaska from Seattle, Wash., on a weeklong journey with stops also in British Columbia.

The District of Alaska U.S. Attorney’s Office identified the employee, who was recently hired, as a 35-year-old man from South Africa.

The incident reportedly took place while the cruise ship was in waters west of Vancouver Island, B.C.

Crew members of the Norwegian Encore told authorities they witnessed the man attempting to deploy a lifeboat. They contacted the ship’s security team, who escorted the man to the onboard medical centre for an assessment.

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There, authorities said the man grabbed a pair of scissors while in the examination room and stabbed an unidentified woman “multiple times in the arm, hand and face.”

When two security guards intervened, they were also stabbed with the scissors, one in the head and the other in the back and shoulders.

The man was eventually detained and was held in the ship’s onboard jail until he was arrested in Alaska.

None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

The cruise employee was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon within maritime and territorial jurisdiction. If found guilty, he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a US$250,000 (about C$343,000) fine.

Norwegian Cruise Line has not commented publicly on the incident.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office, the FBI Juneau Resident Agency as well as the Coast Guard Investigative Service are jointly investigating the incident.

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