Cruise ship worker accused of stabbing multiple people with scissors on board vessel

Cruise ship worker accused of stabbing multiple people with scissors on board vessel

A South African man has been arrested by the FBI after allegedly stabbing multiple people with medical scissors on a cruise ship.

Ntando Sogoni, 35, was working aboard the Norwegian Encore when other employees saw him trying to deploy a lifeboat on Sunday evening in waters west of Vancouver Island, prompting security to escort him to the ship’s medical centre for an assessment.

The worker was recently hired by Norwegian Cruise Line and had joined the ship in Seattle on Sunday, according to the arrest affidavit.

The cruise was set for a weeklong trip with stops scheduled in ports such as Juneau, Alaska and British Columbia in Canada.

When he arrived for his medical assessment, Mr Sogoni “became irrational and attempted to leave,” according to the affidavit.

Cruise worker charged with assault after the ship attack in Alaska (Getty Images)

In the early hours of Monday, Mr Sogoni allegedly physically attacked a security guard and a nurse inside the examination room, before he ran to another room where a woman, a 75-year-old US citizen, was being examined, according to a news release from Alaska’s District Attorney’s Office said.

He grabbed a pair of scissors, the attorney’s office said, and plunged them into the woman’s arm, hand and face, stabbing her multiple times.

Mr Sogoni then allegedly stabbed two security guards who intervened and were trying to detain him, stabbing one of them in the head and another in the back and shoulders, authorities said.

None of the injuries sustained by the victims were life-threatening.

The cruise ship worker was detained and held in the ship’s jail until the vessel arrived in Juneau on Tuesday.

He has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon within maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

If convicted, Mr Sogoni faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine for each count.

In a statement to The Independent, a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said that on Monday “a newly employed crew member was observed exhibiting unusual and irrational behavior.”

The spokesperson reiterated that the crew member became “violent without provocation” and attacked two members and a guest, who sustained non-life threatening injuries.

They added that law enforcement authorities were immediately contacted and took custody of the crew member once the ship arrived in Juneau.

“We condemn violent behavior of this nature and are committed to the safety and security of all crew members and guests on our ships. We commend the onboard security team for their brave actions,” the spokesperson added.

They said that senior ship leadership is closely monitoring all involved and senior company executives immediately travelled to Juneau to “meet, escort and assist the guest.”

“We will continue to assist the relevant authorities in the ongoing investigation,” the spokesperson concluded.

Online court records do not show an attorney for Mr Sogoni.