Clown ruled out as cause of mass brawl that broke out on British cruise ship

Police said a clown was not believed to be the cause of the brawl. Picture: PA
Police said a clown was not believed to be the cause of the brawl. Picture: PA
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A clown was not the cause of a "mass brawl" which broke out on a British cruise ship leading to two arrests, P&O Cruises has said.


The large fight broke out at a restaurant buffet on the Britannia cruise ship in the early hours of Friday, causing other passengers to hide and flee to their cabins.

Plates and furniture were said to be used as weapons during the chaos in which six people were hurt, with some receiving significant bruising and cuts.

Announcements were made on the ship, summoning staff and paramedics to the restaurant at around 2am.

Early reports said the violence erupted after a passenger dressed as a clown interrupted a black-tie party held in one of the ship's 13 restaurants.

According to a female entertainer who works on the Britannia, the clown crashed a black-tie party held in the 16th-floor restaurant, prompting anger from the other passengers.

Richard Gaisford, a reporter for ITV's Good Morning Britain, was on board and said staff were told the incident was sparked by the appearance of the clown by a member of a group involved in the brawl.

He added: "The buffet area was immediately sealed off as medical teams went to help the injured.

"Staff told me they'd never experienced anything like it and those behind the violence were confined to a cabin for the last day of the cruise, waiting for police here in Southampton."

However, P&O confirmed on Sunday there was no clown on board and said this was supported by ship staff.

This was confirmed by Hampshire Police.

After the Britannia arrived in Southampton, a man, 43, and a 41-year-old woman, both from Chigwell, Essex, were arrested on suspicion of assault.

The pair were released from custody on Sunday but remain under investigation.

Hampshire Police said: "There was no clown on board or involved in this incident.

"Officers are investigating following reports of a public order incident on board P&O's Britannia.

"If anyone has any information, including phone footage of the incident, they should call Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting 44190262605."

The Britannia was returning from Bergen, Norway, following a week-long cruise which would have cost the passengers around £1,000.