Man headed to prison for dropping cruise anchor

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A California businessman has been sentenced to four months incarceration and three years of probation for a drunken prank while aboard a Holland America 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.

The Thousand Oaks, Calif., man pleaded guilty last year to bringing the MS Ryndam to a halting stop when he dropped the 18-ton stern anchor on the MS Ryndam after a night of drinking. The ship was traveling at 18 knots as it returned to Tampa from Mexico on Nov. 27, 2010. The prank delayed the ship by three hours.

The Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/ztGK1y ) reports Merryday called the incident a "bothersome crime."

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Information from: The Tampa Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com