Friday, July 17, 2015

The Brawl Onboard

It was a party thrown to the officers and crew onboard Renaissance One  We were still trading in Sabah water then and that year was 1994.  It was our first party celebration in appreciation to the Master, officers and crew for their support.

Though I don't drink, I did drink a little so as not to disappoint the rest.  Everyone was in a party mood.  We played games, had a lot of fun and plenty of booze (non-stop, unfortunately).  The party just went on and on.  Some were highly intoxicated.  When the party was at its climax, someone reported a fight.  Dropping everything, I rushed off to the scene with a few of us.  One gaming crew was quite badly beaten up by a stronger deck & engine crew.  Before, we could even settle down, another fight broke out somewhere again.  We rushed over to check out.  Pandemonium was everywhere and it was akin to a riot onboard.  Again, another fight happened.  It was never ending.  Basically it was between few camps, the gaming department, the hotel department and the deck & engine department I later learnt.  Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured as it was just physical fight using fists and not any weapon of sorts.  Finally, I can heave a sigh of relief when the situation was kept under control.  But at a price, there were few injuries.

The next morning, we had our own inquiry.  Firstly, we realised we made a big mistake by allowing non-stop supply of alcohol for a party celebration.  We should have put a cap on alcohol consumption.  Too late, damage had been done.  Secondly, it was a pent-up mood waiting for an eruption.  The deck and engine crew were never happy with the gaming and hotel crew.  The guys at the deck and engine did the physical works but they did not get tips unlike those from the hotel and gaming crew.  Also, some were related to 'boy-girl' relationships which is common onboard cruise vessel.  When the investigation was finally concluded, the identified ring leader of each department was fired.  One from the gaming department, one from the deck & engine and one from the hotel department.  When they were sober,  they regretted their violent actions in the stage of intoxication.  Some really needed the job.  However, we were determined to send a strong message to all and to be fair too, we decided to release the ring leaders from the various departments.  This is a big lesson learnt by us.

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