According to the Mercury, witnesses heard an emergency alarm and screaming on board the Radiance of the Seas in the early morning hours of Oct. 18.
“A 46-year-old Queensland man has been charged with attempted murder after a family violence-related incident on board a cruise ship now docked in Hobart,” said a Tasmania Police report.
The man was named as David James Fysh by the Daily Mail, which reported he had pleaded not guilty when he appeared before a Magistrates Court in Hobart, the city where he was arrested.
The father of three will face trial in February, according to the Mail.
‘Covered in Bruises’
The incident occurred on the Radiance of the Seas at about 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 19, during a five-day cruise from Sydney to Tasmania.
On the Tasmania Police Facebook page, one woman, who lives in Hobart, commented that the woman had been tears after the incident.
“That poor woman approached my sister—she was covered in bruises right down to her feet!”
The Radiance of the Sea is operated by Royal Caribbean. The company confirmed in a statement via email that a “domestic disturbance was reported between two guests.”
“Our security staff responded to the incident and Tasmania Police were notified and attended the ship on arrival in Hobart,” said a spokesperson.
“Royal Caribbean is co-operating fully with authorities. At Royal Caribbean, the safety and security of our guests and crew is our highest priority.”
The Padded Room
Out at sea, the laws from the country of the ship’s flag apply. If ships are in port, or in another nation’s territorial waters, local laws apply.
With no law enforcement on hand, cruise ships have to be ready to handle potentially criminal and violent activity and to detain people if necessary, according to CruiseCritic.
“While cruise lines don’t advertise their onboard policies or facilities for housing criminals, rest assured that every ship has a plan in place,” wrote Melinda Crow.
“It may involve house arrest in the offender’s cabin with posted guards or actual incarceration in a specific cell. Larger ships are likely to have a padded or otherwise safe lockup room called a ‘brig.'”
However, there have been suggestions in the past that not all incidents involving passengers assumed to have fallen overboard may have been thoroughly investigated.
Falling off a cruise ship is highly unlikely, but not unheard of. According to the website Cruise Junkie, 20 people have fallen off cruise ships just this year, while since 2000, 322 cruise and ferry passengers have gone overboard.