Cruise Ship Turns Deadly as Workers Stabs Three On Board

This week in Juneau, Alaska, officials detained a South African employee of the Norwegian Cruise Line on suspicion of assaulting a female passenger and two ship security officers with scissors while they were on board.

The Norwegian Cruise operator is a Miami-based American cruise operator that originated in Norway in 1966.

The individual,  Ntando Sogoni, is accused of assault within marine and territorial jurisdiction. He is 35 years old, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Sogoni boarded the Norwegian Encore in Seattle on Sunday after being recruited by a cruise operator, according to an affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Matthew Judy. The ship sailed that day on a weeklong voyage that included stops in British Columbia and Alaska, including Juneau, Alaska’s state capital.

The event purportedly happened as the ship was heading to Alaska, west of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The individual was transferred to a medical clinic for assessment after ship workers witnessed him attempting to deploy a lifeboat on Sunday night, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, he assaulted a security officer and a nurse after becoming hysterical and trying to flee. The complaint states that he sprinted into another room, assaulted a lady undergoing an examination with a pair of scissors, and stabbed two guards who attempted to help. The injuries were all deemed non-life-threatening.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI apprehended Sogoni upon the ship’s arrival in Juneau.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(3), the maximum penalty for assault using a dangerous instrument within marine and territorial jurisdiction is ten years in prison and/or a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for every count.

As of April 2024, 19 Norwegian Cruise Line ships were in operation, and eight more are in the ordering process. With the exception of the Pride of America, which is based in the US, all of its ships fly the flag of the Bahamas.