While 2038 passengers enjoyed a Mediterranean dream cruise aboard the ship Celebrity Constellation, an enraged Jamaican cook, allegedly already drunk at 5am, attacked the ship’s Indian head chef with a butcher’s knife, newspapers in Italy are reporting.
The below-decks drama led to police in Salerno, Italy arresting a 31-year-old Jamaican employed as a cook in the galley of the ship. He was charged with “attempted murder aggravated by petty reasons” after attacking the 38-year-old Indian head chef with a “big knife”, the L’Unione Sarda newspaper reported.
Italian Maritime Border Police released a photo of the weapon, which appears to be a Victorinox Swiss Classic ergonomic cook’s knife with a 19cm blade.
The cook is reported to have stabbed the chef in the stomach. The victim was rushed to Salerno hospital with serious injuries and is said to have come close to losing his spleen.
Newspapers said that the cook started his shift at 5am and was already “in a state of alcoholic intoxication”.
Cruise Law News, the blog of noted Miami-based maritime lawyer Jim Walker, said that “pursuant to maritime law, the act of a crew member attacking another crew member with a dangerous weapon renders the ship ‘unseaworthy’ and creates strict liability on behalf of the maritime employer for the attack”.
The publication Maritime Executive said the cook reportedly told police that he had become exasperated with the head chef’s tone.
The vessel’s operations continued uninterrupted, Maritime Executive added.
Celebrity Constellation is currently operating a 12-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Venice. The Millennium-class ship, co-flagship of the Celebrity Cruises fleet, was reported yesterday to be in Kusadasi, Turkey, and should be arriving today in Rhodes, Greece.
Written by Peter Needham