Around two dozen Carnival Cruise Line passengers were removed from the Carnival Legend on Friday following a violent brawl that one onlooker described as a “bloodbath.”
The Carnival Legend was scheduled to dock in Melbourne on Saturday following a 10-day trip through the South Pacific, but was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales, where police unloaded the unruly passengers, 9 News Australia is reporting.
Witnesses say the fight broke out very early on Friday morning between a large extended family, guests and staff members, and grew to the point where fellow passengers were “truly scared for [their] safety.”
WARNING: Video contains graphic content and language.
Footage from the ship shows several passengers punching, kicking and wresting each other to the floor, while security officers attempt to break up the melee. Some of the officers are also seen kicking and fighting with the passengers themselves.
At one point in the footage, a female staff member is seen trying to swat at the person filming the fight, presumably in an attempt to stop him/her from filming.
Travelers aboard the Carnival Legend said some of the unruly passengers had been “looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship,” according to a witness who spoke with Melbourne’s 3AW Radio.
“They were looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship."
“My husband said to take [their behavior] away, because there’s kids here, and five of them surrounded my husband … They told us to watch our backs,” the woman added, per 9 News.
Other passengers recalled that a few of the brawlers had been involved in previous fights on the ship, and had threatened to stab and throw people overboard. One went so far as to call the whole trip a “cruise from hell.”
WARNING: Footage contains graphic content and language.
"We are so scared after witnessing a traumatic experience with yet again the same offenders,” another passenger told 9 News. “It was a bloodbath.”
Upon docking in Eden, police in New South Wales removed six men and three teenage boys, and another 14 passengers disembarked along with group. Carnival has since confirmed that they were members of the same extended family.
"Police have been told a fight involving several men took place on board the ship after an argument about 12.45 a.m. today. Security intervened and detained the men before notifying the Marine Area Command,” confirmed the New South Wales police, adding that they will be investigating the incident.
"The group were transported to Canberra where other travel arrangements were made."
Carnival, too, has announced that it will be “conducting a full investigation into the incidents.”
“The safety and security of our guests and crew is our number one priority,” a spokesman for Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement.
“We apply a zero tolerance approach to excessive behavior that affects other guests. In line with this policy, we cooperated fully with local authorities in Australia to remove a large family group who had been involved in disruptive and violent acts aboard Carnival Legend.
“We are confident that this strong action addressed the disruption on Carnival Legend and enabled our remaining guests to properly enjoy the remainder of their cruise.”