A mass brawl broke out on a cruise ship because a group of passengers took exception to another passenger’s clown fancy dress, witnesses said today.
Good Morning Britain’s chief correspondent Richard Gaisford was on board the cruise ship Britannia when violence flared as the ship returned to Southampton from a week-long trip to Norway’s fjords.
Mr Gaisford said he rushed to the 16th floor restaurant on board the ship at 2am last night after hearing an emergency tannoy for security staff.
People were using furniture and plates as weapons in the brawl which “left blood everywhere,” Mr Gaisford said.
He wrote on Twitter: “Violent late night brawl in the buffet onboard Britannia left staff who intervened injured, as passengers used furniture and plates as weapons.
“Witnesses told me they were so frightened they had to hide, as family groups fought.
“The violence occurred on the final leg of a week long cruise to Norway’s fjords.
“I became aware of trouble when officers made an emergency tannoy at 2AM for security staff to rush to the 16th floor restaurant.
“I went too and found passengers shocked by what they’d seen.
“One witness, part of a group involved in the trouble, explained to staff that things kicked off when another passenger appeared dressed as a clown.
“This upset one of their party because they’d specifically booked a cruise with no fancy dress. It led to a violent confrontation.
“Britannia left Bergen at 1430 on Thursday, the violence occurred 12 hours later after a black-tie evening. It followed an afternoon of ‘patriotic’ partying on deck, with large amounts of alcohol being consumed by many guests.
“The buffet area was immediately sealed off as medical teams went to help the injured. Staff told me they’d never experienced anything like it and those behind the violence were confined to a cabin for the last day of the cruise, waiting for police here in Southampton.”
A P&O Cruises spokesman said: “Following an incident on board Britannia on Thursday evening we can confirm that all guests have now disembarked and the matter is now in the hands of the local police.”
Hampshire Police said its officers attended the ship when it docked in Southampton and investigations are ongoing.
Police said a 43-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman, both from Chigwell, Essex, are in custody
A police spokesman said officers were investigating the brawl.
The force said in a statement: “Officers attended after a number of people were assaulted on-board a cruise ship.
“Six people, three men and three women were assaulted. A number of injuries were suffered including significant bruising and cuts.
“The incident took place during the early hours of Friday, 26 July on-board P&O’s Britannia while it was enroute to Southampton from Bergen.
“Two people, a 43-year-old man and 41-year-old man, both of Chigwell, Essex, have been arrested on suspicion of assault and are currently in police custody.”