U.S. law enforcement is investigating a massive fight that broke out early Tuesday morning on a Carnival Magic cruise ship that involved around 40 to 60 passengers.
The U.S. Coast Guard was alerted to the brawl at 4 a.m. and deployed a vessel to escort the cruise ship through the New York Harbor.
Video of the incident has since gone viral on social media.
The NYPD learned of the dispute around 5:20 a.m. and told People the fight broke out on the dance floor of a nightclub located on the ship.
At the time of the incident, the cruise ship was near the Verrazano Bridge that connects Brooklyn and Staten Island, but authorities are unsure if the brawl began in international waters, in New Jersey or in New York — leaving the issue of whose jurisdiction the incident falls under unclear, according to the NYPD.
“Security onboard the boat attempted to de-escalate the situation and subsequently called for the Coast Guard,” the NYPD said. “The Coast Guard escorted the cruise ship to Pier 88, confines of the MTN Precinct. Uniformed personnel and Traffic Agents met the ship and the ship disembarked passengers without further incident.”
PIX 11, a local outlet, reported that the fight began with two people but quickly grew in size as more people joined in, police said.
The NYPD told PIX 11 the cruise was escorted into New York for an emergency docking, but Carnival Cruise Line contends that the stop was already scheduled.
“Last night while Carnival Magic was returning to New York, a number of guests were involved in an altercation in a nightclub. Thankfully no serious injuries were reported and our onboard security team intervened,” Carnival’s statement to PIX 11 reads. “The ship arrived as scheduled this morning and shoreside law enforcement authorities were notified and met the ship to interview suspects and witnesses and conduct an investigation.”
Fox News interviewed a witness who was on board at the time.
Theresa James, a travel agent, said the fight started just before 2 a.m. on the fifth floor of the cruise ship, where the onboard dance club and casino can be found.
James says an alleged threesome is what sparked the dispute, with passengers becoming riled up after learning that their significant others had engaged in the ménage à trois.
James, who witnessed the hour-long fight from her door, saw beer bottles smashed and said a woman may have been cut during the brawl.
She said the guests were “ignorant fools acting stupid” and praised the cruise ship’s security for how they handled the fight, saying the dispute could have been a lot worse.