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Steven Slater Imitator Not As Cool As Real Thing

Last updated November 29, 2010

anchor tattooSteven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who famously grabbed a couple of brewskies before inflating and jumping onto an airplane’s emergency evacuation slide, left some very big shoes to fill. Though he hasn’t really said Slater’s stunt was his inspiration, one can’t help but assume that Rick Ehlert was hoping to cull similar notoriety when he deployed the anchor on a Holland America cruise ship last Friday.

Except Ehlert’s antic could have caused some serious damage:

Federal agents reported that the “free release of a cruise ship anchor” could have damaged the ship’s propeller or rudder, which “could disable the ship’s ability to maneuver” or puncture the vessel, resulting in “sinking or severe flooding.” The MS Ryndam, which has a capacity of 1260 passengers and carries a crew of 580, was traveling to Tampa from Costa Maya, Mexico.

While the Internet will most certainly blow up over this, it’s a pretty sure bet that it won’t be with the same affectionate outpouring that followed Slater. Why? Because Slater was a disgruntled employee who everyone couldn’t possibly help but find some common ground. Moreover, it’s not like he really stood the risk of hurting anyone but himself, and jumping out of the plane with a couple of beers did not once threaten to hinder anyone’s good time.