Last week, Ketut Pujayasa, a 28 year old Indonesia crew member of Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale for assault and attempted murder.
Pujayasa, who was working as a stateroom steward at the time, entered a female passenger’s cabin, hid on the balcony, and waited for the passenger to return to her stateroom. Once the passenger returned to her stateroom, Pujayasa attacked the women. The confrontation soon moved to the stateroom’s balcony, where Pujayasa attempted to throw her overboard. The women soon moved the confrontation back inside the stateroom and escaped into the stateroom corridor. Pujayasa escaped from the balcony and returned to his crew cabin, confessing the attack to his roommate.
Pujayasa was detained by the ship’s security team and turned over to the FBI upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale.
A statement from Holland America Line reads,
“We are terribly saddened by the senseless assault that took place on the ms Nieuw Amsterdam this past Friday, Feb. 14. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family during this difficult time.
While no words can adequately express our shock at this event, this has shaken the entire Holland America family to our very core. We continue to work closely with authorities to understand how this incident occurred and what additional actions we can take to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.
As confirmed through the initial investigation:
• A 31-year-old female U.S. citizen onboard the ms Nieuw Amsterdam was assaulted by a 28-year-old crewmember in her stateroom in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 14.
• The guest was cared for and her condition was stabilized in the ship’s hospital. She disembarked the ship on Saturday in Roatan, Honduras, and was transferred by air to a hospital in the United States.
• Holland America Line is continuing to provide full support to the guest and has flown her family to be with her while she receives treatment.
• The FBI and other relevant authorities were notified of the incident immediately. The crewmember was then placed under guard on the ship and the crime scene was secured by the ship’s officers and security personnel. He has been terminated from the company.
• The former crewmember was remanded to the custody of the FBI and Broward Sheriff’s Office Sunday upon the ship’s scheduled return to Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Holland America Line performs careful screening of all our employees. We require police clearance from the country of origin for nearly all crewmembers before they can work onboard our ships, as was done for the former crewmember involved here. In addition, all crewmembers undergo rigorous visa requirements for the routes they will be sailing. For example, virtually all of our crewmembers must obtain a visa from the U.S. Embassy and are vetted by the U.S. Government prior to issuance of a visa; foreign national crewmembers arrive at international airports within the U.S. and must undergo U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) vetting against all watch lists; and all crew are subject to a full crew vetting by CBP every 90 days and subject to the same vetting as outlined above.
This individual was hired in 2012 following a careful screening that included a clean criminal history check. He had no performance issues and came with good references.
“At Holland America Line, the safety of our guests is our highest priority, and we are shocked and deeply saddened by this incident,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “To our knowledge, no incident like this has occurred in our company’s 140-year history.””