Police are investigating after an all-out fight broke out on a cruise ship as it was returning to New York overnight, authorities confirmed on Tuesday after it arrived safely. Up to 60 people were ultimately involved in the melee in international waters, cops said.
The eight-day cruise aboard Carnival Magic departed from its New York City-New Jersey hub on June 20, stopping in the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and a private island in the Bahamas before turning around and to return to the East Coast.
It’s unclear what sparked the fight, but PIX 11 reported it started between two people on a dance floor and escalated as others joined the fray. Between 40 and 60 people were involved in the fight when it was dismantled, officials said.
Cruise officials notified the Coast Guard, which launched a small boat from Staten Island to escort the vessel the rest of the way to its Pier 88 dock. Members of the NYPD, whom the Coast Guard had tipped off, were ready when he arrived.
There was no immediate word on any possible arrests. Jurisdictional issues regarding where the vessel was at the time of the altercation — was it in international waters? New Jersey waters? New York waters? – have not yet received a response, so it is not entirely clear at this time which department or agency will be conducting the investigation.
Carnival Magic acknowledged the incident, saying “a number of guests were involved in an altercation at a nightclub” as the ship returned to Manhattan.
“Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported and our onboard safety team responded,” the cruise line’s statement continued. “The vessel arrived as scheduled this morning and authorities were notified and met with the vessel to interview suspects and witnesses and conduct an investigation.”
No injuries were reported and no weapons were involved, according to the US Coast Guard. Neither the Coast Guard nor the NYPD boarded the ship, officials said. The passengers disembarked without further incident upon their arrival in New York on Tuesday.
The Carnival Magic was built in 2011 and is registered in Panama. She is over 1,000 feet long and sails to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada/New England and the Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Norfolk, Miami and New York on cruises ranging from two to nine days. It can accommodate up to 3,690 guests.