- Savage fist fights erupted on Carnival Legend cruise ship between two parties
- Shocking footage showed up to 30 passengers beating each other at 1am
- 26 members of same family group were removed from the ship by police
- Witnesses revealed how fellow passengers hurled abuse as they were removed
Published: 17:55 GMT, 16 February 2018 | Updated: 22:02 GMT, 16 February 2018
Scared, sleep deprived and furious after fights between two rivals families turned a cruise into a 'bloodbath', fellow passengers hurled abuse as the yobs were arrested.
'Get off!' shouted one irate holidaymaker as 26 members of the same family were hauled off the Carnival Legend cruise ship and into the hands of police after it docked in Eden, New South Wales, on Friday.
'You’re not heroes, you’re deros', yelled another, according to News.com.au.
Just hours earlier, at around 1am, up to 30 people had engaged in a mass brawl in the common areas of the ship, some of which was captured on film.
Passengers yelled 'get off' and 'you're not heroes, you're deros' as 26 members of the same family were hauled off the Carnival Legend cruise ship on Friday
This afternoon the ship docked at port at Eden, New South Wales where six men, three teenage boys and 14 other passengers – all from the same family group – were removed and detained
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Lines confirmed a number of 'disruptive' guests have been removed after docking in Eden
Desperate security guards were seen resorting to violence to stop the alcohol-fulled brawl, which was one of many to terrorise passengers on board the 10-day cruise of the South Pacific.
One of the passengers involved, named only as Zac, said the tension between his family and another group started over a thong being stepped on.
'This is all over a thong – not a foot, a thong – being stepped on and being instantly apologised for. What happened there and then was apologised for,' he told 3AW.
He claimed his nephew was threatened by the other group who allegedly said 'we're gonna get you' when the youngster returned a soccer ball.
Zac also claimed that security guards made the situation worse by following his family at 'every possible moment' and started the fight by hitting his daughter, wife and sister-in-law.
He alleged the guards 'took turns pounding us in the face with knuckle dusters and steel-cap-boots,' although there's no evidence of this in the footage.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Carnival Cruises Australia for comment on the allegations.
Several passengers appeared to be injured with one man wearing a bandage on his forehead
This afternoon the Carnival Legend docked at port at Eden, New South Wales where six men, three teenage boys and 14 other passengers – all from the same family group – were removed.
Police, who are now investigating the fights, said the family was taken by bus to Canberra where arrangements were made to fly them home to Melbourne.
Dramatic photos showed the family walking down the pier at Eden Marina, with one injured man wearing a bandage across his forehead.
Jennifer Vandekreeke, vice-president of Carnival Cruises Australia, said the company called police as the family group were 'violent and disruptive.'
'We are deeply concerned by the incidents that occurred on-board board Carnival Legend last night, as the safety and security of our guests and our crew is our number one priority. We apply a zero-tolerance approach to excessive behaviour that affects other guests,' she said.
'In line with this policy, we contacted NSW police this morning and we asked them to attend Carnival Legend in Eden today to remove a large family group from the ship that had been involved in violent and disruptive acts. The group has disembarked from the vessel and we are cooperating fully with employees.
'We are confident that this strong action has addressed the disruption on-board Carnival Legend and enabled our remaining guests to properly enjoy the closing stages of their holiday.'
'These events are completely isolated to this family group and out of character with the on-board experience on-board Carnival Legend. We are also initiating a full internal investigation into what occurred.'
'We asked NSW Police Marine Area Command to attend Carnival Legend in Eden to remove a family group of passengers from the ship,' a statement read
NSW Police were unable to confirm to Daily Mail Australia if any of the removed passengers have been arrested
The captain of the Legend reportedly refused to take the offending group any further and the passengers arrived at port to waiting police (pictured) where a bus was booked to take them to Canberra Airport to fly to Melbourne
Guests complained two groups of 30 warring passengers were engaging in multiple violent brawls. They said some of those fighting threatened to stab each other and throw people overboard.
Witnesses were so frightened they barricaded themselves in their cabins to escape the 'bloodbath'.
Video filmed on a guest's mobile phone showed both male and female passengers erupt into a brawl.
At one point security guards had to repeatedly kicked two men fighting on the floor in attempt to separate them as women and children screamed and attempted to hold them back.
Video filmed on a guest's mobile phone shows both male and female passengers erupt into an all-in brawl as cruise security attempted to intervene, leaving some victims with savage bruises and cuts. Pictured: One passenger named Michael
One man, named Michael, was brutally kicked while he was pinned to the ground and received cuts and bruising to his face, back and legs (Pictured left and right)
George Barkho (pictured) was caught up in the violence and called his father at 1am
One man, named Michael, was brutally kicked while he was pinned to the ground and received cuts and bruising to his face, back and legs.
He revealed the extent of his savage injuries in harrowing photographs shared with 3AW.
One man could be heard yelling, 'Don't hit my girlfriend' as a security guard pretended to lunge at a woman who screamed: 'Do not touch him.'
At one point during the footage a member of cruise staff attempts to stop the person behind the camera from filming the incident.
Guests travelling on the 10-day South Pacific cruise complained two groups of 30 warring passengers were engaging in multiple violent brawls with threats of stabbing and to throw people overboard
Witnesses to the incidents were so frightened they barricaded themselves in their cabins to escape the 'bloodbath'
Police were waiting at the dock (pictured) when the cruise arrived in Eden on Friday morning
The captain of the Carnival Legend reportedly refused to take the warring groups any further
The 10-day cruise had been touring the South Pacific and will dock in Melbourne on Saturday
Australian guests travelling on the 10-day cruise on the Carnival Legend claim two groups of 30 warring passengers have engaged in multiple violent brawls (pictured) with threats of stabbing and to throw people overboard
Witnesses claim as many as 30 feuding passengers were involved in the violent on board clashes which occurred in common areas in front of families.
'We are so scared after witnessing a traumatic experience with yet again the same offenders. It was a bloodbath,' the anonymous guest said.
'We will not be leaving our cabins and are truly scared for our safety and what could happen in the next 24 hours.'
Some guests have even described their ocean holiday as the 'cruise from hell'.
David Barkho, the father of a 20-year-old man caught up in the violence, told 3AW he received a frantic phone call from his injured son at 1am.
'He said, 'Please Dad, please, call the Federal Police',' Mr Barkho said.
'I could hear a lot of screaming, crying in the background.'
At one point during the footage a member of cruise staff attempts to stop the person behind the camera from filming the incident
Witnesses claim as many as 30 feuding passengers were involved in the violent on board clashes
The cruise ship made an unexpected stop in Eden, New South Wales to remove the offending passengers
The Carnival Legend (pictured) made a stop in Eden, New South Wales on Friday morning
Mr Barkho also alleged cruise security staff were attempting to destroy video of the brawl.
'The security came in and took his phone, and deleted a lot of images',' he added.
Passenger Kellie Petersen who was on board with her husband and three children, aged 11, nine and six, said she felt threatened by the family group.
She said: 'Fights have been going on for a few days now. We're scared. We've been told to watch our backs by this group so we're scared to go anywhere alone in the ship. We can't wait to get off.'
The cruise liner has made an unexpected stop at a port in Eden, New South Wales, before it heads to Melbourne tomorrow.
One horrified passenger told Nine News they are genuinely frightened of the offending holidaymakers and are hesitant to leave the safety of their rooms (Pictured one alleged offender)
Pictured is the Carnival Legend arriving at a port in Eden, New South Wales, on Friday morning
It is not the first time Australian passengers have complained of violence on board cruise ships.
The P&O Explorer was forced to turn back to Sydney after a brawl erupted when a female passenger allegedly 'hit a guy over the head with a bottle of wine' last week.
There was a 30 minute brawl on the ship involving at least 15 passengers, according to witnesses.
Seven people – six men and one 37-year-old Russian woman – were arrested and escorted off the cruise.
Some guests have even described their ocean holiday as the 'cruise from hell' (Carnival Legend pictured)
Ben Roberts-Smith: Top soldier won’t apologise for alleged war crimes
Ben Roberts-Smith is proud of his actions in Afghanistan, the former Australian soldier said in his first comments since a judge ruled claims he committed war crimes were true.
A landmark defamation case this month found Mr Roberts-Smith was responsible for the murders of four Afghans.
The Victoria Cross recipient says he is innocent and will consider an appeal.
“I’m devastated… It’s a terrible outcome and it’s the incorrect outcome,” he said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters from Nine as he returned to Australia for the first time since the judgement was delivered, Mr Roberts-Smith also said he would not apologise to those affected by his alleged crimes.
“We haven’t done anything wrong, so we won’t be making any apologies,” he said.
Mr Roberts-Smith sued three Australian newspapers over a series of articles alleging he had carried out unlawful killings and bullied fellow soldiers while deployed in Afghanistan between 2009-2012.
But Federal Court Judge Anthony Besanko threw out the former special forces corporal’s case against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Canberra Times, ruling it was “substantially true” that Mr Roberts-Smith had murdered unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians, and bullied peers.
The 44-year-old, who remains Australia’s most-decorated living soldier, was not present for the civil court ruling, having spent the days leading up to it on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
Mr Roberts-Smith, who left the defence force in 2013, has not been charged over any of the claims in a criminal court, where there is a higher burden of proof.
None of the evidence presented in the civil defamation case against Mr Roberts-Smith can be used in any criminal proceedings, meaning investigators must gather their own independently.
This week it was confirmed that the Office of the Special Investigator (OSI) – which is responsible for addressing criminal matters related to the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan – would work alongside Australian Federal Police (AFP) to examine three alleged murders local media say involve the former soldier.
The killings allegedly took place at a compound codenamed Whiskey 108 and in the southern Afghan village of Darwan.
The OSI was set up following a landmark inquiry in 2020, known as the Brereton Inquiry, which found “credible evidence” that Australia’s special forces unlawfully killed 39 people in Afghanistan.
There are currently 40 matters that are being jointly investigated by the OSI and the AFP.
Earlier this year former SAS soldier Oliver Schulz became the first Australian defence force member to ever be charged by police with the war crime of murder.
Why Australia decided to quit its vaping habit
He’s talking about students in his class, teenagers, who can’t stop vaping.
He sees the effect of the candy-flavoured, nicotine-packed e-cigarettes on young minds every day, with children even vaping in class.
“The ones who are deepest into it will just get up out of their seat, or they’ll be fidgeting or nervous. The worst offenders will just walk out because they’re literally in withdrawal.”
Those who are most addicted need nicotine patches or rehabilitation, he says, talking about 13 and 14-year-olds.
is enough and introduced a range of new restrictions. Despite vapes already being illegal for many, under new legislation they will become available by prescription only.
The number of vaping teenagers in Australia has soared in recent years and authorities say it is the “number one behavioural issue” in schools across the country.
And they blame disposable vapes – which some experts say could be more addictive than heroin and cocaine – but for now are available in Australia in every convenience store, next to the chocolate bars at the counter.
For concerned teachers like Chris, their hands have been tied.
“If we suspect they have a vape, all we can really do is tell them to go to the principal’s office.
“At my old school, my head teacher told me he wanted to install vape detector alarms in the toilet, but apparently we weren’t allowed to because that would be an invasion of privacy.”
E-cigarettes have been sold as a safer alternative to tobacco, as they do not produce tar – the primary cause of lung cancer.
Some countries continue to promote them with public health initiatives to help cigarette smokers switch to a less deadly habit.
Last month, the UK government announced plans to hand out free vaping starter kits to one million smokers in England to get smoking rates below 5% by 2030.
But Australia’s government says that evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit is insufficient for now. Instead, research shows it may push young vapers into taking up smoking later in life.
Vapes, or e-cigarettes, are lithium battery-powered devices that have cartridges filled with liquids containing nicotine, artificial flavourings, and other chemicals.
The liquid is heated and turned into a vapour and inhaled into the user’s lungs.
Vaping took off from the mid-2000s and there were some 81 million vapers worldwide in 2021, according to the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction group.
Fuelling the rise is the mushrooming popularity of flavoured vapes designed to appeal to the young.
These products can contain far higher volumes of nicotine than regular cigarettes, while some devices sold as ‘nicotine-free’ can actually hold large amounts.
The chemical cocktail also contains formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde – which have been linked to lung disease, heart disease, and cancer.
There’s also a suggestion of an increased risk of stroke, respiratory infection, and impaired lung function.
Experts warn not enough is known about the long-term health effects. But some alarming data has already been drawn out.
In 2020, US health authorities identified more than 2,800 cases of e-cigarette or vaping-related lung injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 68 deaths attributed to that injury.
In Australia, a major study by leading charity The Cancer Council found more than half of all children who had ever vaped had used an e-cigarette they knew contained nicotine and thought that vaping was a socially acceptable behaviour.
School-age children were being supplied with e-cigarettes through friends or “dealers” inside and outside school, or from convenience stores and tobacconists, the report said.
Teens also reported purchasing vapes through social media, websites and at pop-up vape stores, the Generation Vape project found.
“Whichever way teenagers obtain e-cigarettes, they are all illegal, yet it’s happening under the noses of federal and state authorities”, report author and Cancer Council chair Anita Dessaix said.
“All Australian governments say they’re committed to ensuring e-cigarettes are only accessed by smokers with a prescription trying to quit – yet a crisis in youth e-cigarette use is unfolding in plain view.”
In addition to the government’s move to ban the import of all non-pharmaceutical vaping products – meaning they can now only be bought with a prescription – all single-use disposable vapes will be made illegal.
The volume and concentration of nicotine in e-cigarettes will also be restricted, and both flavours and packaging must be plain and carrying warning labels.
But these new measures are not actually all that drastic, says public health physician Professor Emily Banks from the Australian National University.
“Australia is not an outlier. It is unique to have a prescription-only model, but other places actually ban them completely, and that includes almost all of Latin America, India, Thailand and Japan.”
‘We have been duped’
Health Minister Mark Butler said the new vaping regulations will close the “biggest loophole in Australian healthcare history”.
“Just like they did with smoking… ‘Big Tobacco’ has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging and added sweet flavours to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
“We have been duped”, he said.
Medical experts agree. Prof Banks argues that the promotion of e-cigarettes as a “healthier” alternative was a classic “sleight-of-hand” from the tobacco industry.
As such vaping has become “normalised” in Australia, and in the UK too.
“There’s over 17,000 flavours, and the majority of use is not for smoking cessation”, she tells the BBC.
“They’re being heavily marketed towards children and adolescents. People who are smoking and using e-cigarettes – that’s the most common pattern of use, dual use.”
Professor Banks says authorities need to “de-normalise” vaping among teenagers and make vapes much harder to get hold of.
“Kids are interpreting the fact that they can very easily get hold of [vapes] as evidence [they’re safe], and they’re actually saying, ‘well, if they were that unsafe, I wouldn’t be able to buy one at the coffee shop’.
But could stricter controls make it harder for people who do turn to vapes hoping to quit or cut down on tobacco?
“It is important to bear in mind that for some people, e-cigarettes have really helped. But we shouldn’t say ‘this is great for smokers to quit’, says Prof Banks.
“We know from
Australia, from the US, from Europe, that two-thirds to three-quarters of people who quit smoking successfully, do so unaided.”
“You’re trying to bring these [vapes] in saying they’re a great way to quit smoking, but actually we’ve got bubble gum flavoured vapes being used by 13-year-olds in the school toilets. That is not what the community signed up for.”
Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative
In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.
The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.
But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.
So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?
Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.
Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.
The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.
Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.
Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.
Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.
Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.
It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.
“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”
But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.
Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.
But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.
It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.
Critics push for investigation
Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.
But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.
And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.
Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.
Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.
“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.
“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”
The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.
Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.
And she says the same transparency is needed here.
The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them
The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.
“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.
“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”
PM defends governor-general
Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.
“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”
Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.
“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.
“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”
A role fit for purpose?
Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.
She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.
“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”
Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.
“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.
“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”
But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.
“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”
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