The QM2 a large cruise ship, named after Britain's Qeen Mary, failed a health inspection in New York and was described by health inspectors as 'filthy.'
The owners of the "Dirty Queen" decided that appropriate punishment in the traditions of the sea would be to keel haul her Master. This consists of pulling the accused down under the ship and up the other side.
However the Master, Captain X, protested that his ship was only dirty in a small area and it was not his job to clean the toilets. Owners countered that he was in sole command and with command comes responsibility and liability.
The dispute went up to the highest level that of The House of Lords in London, where the Captain was defended by QC (Queen's Councellor) Sir Joseph Ponsonby Smythe aided by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union.)
The defense argued that as the bottom of the "Queen" was covered in barnacles keel hauling would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. They prevailed and the case was dismissed with cost accrued to be paid by the owners.
Captain X told the press that he was ready to retire in Bermuda.