A 57 year old man, Mark O’Keefe, was kicked off a P&O cruise ship after he flicked a cigarette butt overboard. The P&O ship was on a 10 day cruise to Bali.
According to the man’s daughter, O’Keefe was pulled aside by a security officer and was told to go back to his room and that there would be no repercussions. It was reported that O’Keefe apologized profusely and had immediately regretted his actions.
However, the next day, he was taken to go see the captain who told O’Keefe that he had seen no remorse for his actions, and would not be able to continue on this cruise.
Below is a picture of what O’Keefe’s daughter posted on Facebook.
The P&O health and safety video specifically states that “passengers are never to throw cigarette butts, matches, or cigar ends over the side of the ship or from a cabin balcony. They could easily be blown back onto the ship and start a fire. Remember, you can only smoke in designated smoking areas.”
Video from Daily Mail.
I feel that the man shouldn’t have been removed right away. I think that if he had continued to flick cigarette butts overboard, then he should have been taken off the ship. However, I can see why P&O wanted to prevent a fire on-board the ship, since safety is a #1 priority. Also, a fire on a cruise ships is one of the worst things that could happen while out in the middle of the ocean.
Previously in 2006, a fire was started on board the Star Princess due to a smoldering cigarette. One passenger died, 11 others were injured, and over 100 staterooms were burned. This tells you what one passenger can do to completely ruin a cruise for thousands of people, which is probably why P&O removed the man.