The savage fist fight which got 23 members of the same family group kicked off a ‘cruise from hell’ started when someone stood on another passenger’s thong, according to a witness.
Shocking footage showed up to 30 passengers beating each other on the Carnival Legend ship while it was 220km off Jervis Bay, New South Wales at around 1am on Friday.
Desperate security guards resorted 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.
The savage fist fight which got 23 members of the same family group kicked off a ‘cruise from hell’ was started by someone standing on another passenger’s thong, according to a witness. Pictured: Passengers being escorted off the ship by police
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
‘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)