July 27 (UPI) -- A cruise passenger dressed as a clown allegedly sparked a bloody mass brawl on the P&O Britannia early Friday morning, police said.
Hampshire police arrested a couple from Essex, Britain, when the cruise ship docked in Southampton Saturday morning. The man, 43, and woman, 41, had been confined to their cabins after the brawl.
At last six people sustained cuts and bruises during the melee, including one staff member, authorities said.
"Officers are investigating following reports of a public order incident onboard P&O's Britannia," Hampshire police said, according to The Guardian. "The incident happened during the early hours of Friday ... while the ship was en route to Southampton from Bergen."
Journalist Richard Gaisford, of ITV's Good Morning Britain, was on the cruise and tweeted about the incident.
"There was blood everywhere," Gaisford said on Twitter. "Violent late-night brawl in the buffet onboard @pocruises Britannia left staff who intervened injured, as passengers used furniture and plates as weapons. Witnesses told me they were so frightened they had to hide, as family groups fought."
Gaisford said the fight happened on the last leg of the weeklong cruise to Norway's fjords. He said the cruise's staff rushed to the 16th floor after learning about the incident.
"I went too and found passengers shocked by what they'd seen," Gaisford said. "One witness, part of a group involved in the trouble, explained to staff that things kicked off when another passenger appeared dressed as a clown. This upset one of their party because they'd specifically booked a cruise with no fancy dress. It led to a violent confrontation.
"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," he added.
Editor's note: Hampshire police and P&O cruise officials later denied reports that someone dressed as a clown was involved in the altercation.