Police are investigating after an all-out brawl erupted on a cruise ship as it headed back to New York overnight, authorities confirmed Tuesday after it safely arrived. Up to 60 people were ultimately involved in the fray over international waters, cops said.
The eight-day cruise aboard the Carnival Magic left its New York City-New Jersey hub on June 20, stopping in Dominicana, Turks and Caicos and a private island in the Bahamas before turning around and heading back toward the East Coast.
It's not clear what sparked the fight, but PIX 11 reported it started between two people on a dance floor and intensified as others joined in the fray. Anywhere from 40 to 60 people were involved in the fight by the time it was broken up, officials said.
Cruise officials notified the Coast Guard, which launched a small boat from Staten Island to escort the ship the rest of the way to its Pier 88 dock. Members of the NYPD, which the Coast Guard had notified, were standing by when it arrived.
There was no immediate word on possible arrests. Jurisdictional questions around where the ship was at the time of the altercation -- was it in international waters? New Jersey waters? New York waters? -- have yet to be answered so it's not entirely clear just yet which department or agency will lead the investigation.
Carnival Magic acknowledged the incident, saying, "a number of guests were involved in an altercation in a nightclub" as the ship returned to Manhattan.
"Thankfully no serious injuries were reported and our onboard security team intervened," the cruise line's statement continued. "The ship arrived as scheduled this morning and authorities were notified and met the ship to interview suspects and witnesses and conduct an investigation."
No injuries were reported and no weapons were involved, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Neither the Coast Guard nor the NYPD boarded the vessel, officials said. Passengers disembarked without further incident upon their NYC arrival Tuesday.
The Carnival Magic was built in 2011 and is registered in Panama. It is more than 1,000 feet long and sails to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada/New England and the Caribbean, from Port Canaveral, Norfolk, Miami and New York, on cruises that run anywhere from two to nine days. It can accommodate up to 3,690 guests.