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Thousand Oaks man headed to prison for dropping cruise anchor

Thousand Oaks resident Rick Ehlert, 44, was arrested and charged with attempting to damage a vessel and endangering a ship's safe navigation after dropping anchor on a moving cruise ship while he was drunk.

March 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A Thousand Oaks businessman will spend four months behind bars for dropping an anchor from a cruise ship.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday also on Tuesday ordered 45-year-old Rick Ehlert to pay a $7,500 fine and to participate in substance abuse and mental health counseling.

Last year, Ehlert pleaded guilty to bringing a Holland America ship to a halting stop as it returned to Tampa, Fla., from Mexico in 2010. He dropped the 18-ton stern anchor after a night of drinking, delaying the ship by three hours.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.