Bermuda Police Debunk Alleged Attack on Cruise Ship Passenger

June 22, 2011
(4:45 p.m. EDT) -- Bermuda police have concluded that an alleged unprovoked attack on a Norwegian Dawn passenger was actually a drug deal gone wrong. The investigation was prompted by an inquiry from Cruise Critic, after a recent post on the boards depicted a quite different -- and alarming -- scenario.

Cruiser Willy reported on our boards June 20 that a fellow passenger aboard Norwegian Dawn said he was "punched in the face and knocked to the ground" while walking back to the ship alone from Snorkel Park (King's Wharf) June 14 at 4 p.m. According to the posting, the passenger (unnamed in both the posting and subsequent police statements) reported the incident to security personnel and customs officers and was visited by Bermuda police in his cabin.

Here's where things get strange: There was no mention of this incident on the Bermuda Police Service's online daily report, nor had the local newspaper reported it. In a press release, NCL said, "In regards to the matter, we have cooperated with local authorities to the extent possible as the guest chose not to report the incident to Bermuda Police. Given the circumstances, we believe this was an isolated incident."

Cruise Critic reached out to the police and government officials in an effort to get the facts. On Tuesday evening, Magnus Henagulph, a representative from the Ministry of Transport, told us the investigation prompted by our query led to this conclusion: The passenger was allegedly trying to buy marijuana when he was assaulted.

"The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that the incident was not reported to the police at the time, but it was brought to our attention today," said police commissioner Michael DeSilva in a statement provided to Cruise Critic. "We have spoken to ship's security and we are satisfied that the person in this incident was not, in fact, the victim of a robbery. We understand the person's injury was sustained in connection with an illegal drug transaction. We note that [the] alleged victim chose not to report the incident to the Bermuda Police. We further note that the author of the post is not the actual victim and does not have all the facts of the matter."

Furthermore, DeSilva said, "in the absence of a complaint from the victim, there is no further action for the Bermuda Police Service to take at this time."

--by Jodi Thompson, Cruise Critic Contributor