300 Passengers Quarantined on Scientology Cruise Ship Due to Measles Outbreak

May 2, 2019

A cruise ship with nearly 300 passengers on board was quarantined off the coast of St. Lucia in the Caribbean this week after a female crew member was confirmed to have measles. The 440-foot vessel, named "Freewinds," is reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology. "We thought it prudent that we quarantine the ship," St. Lucia chief medical officer Merlene Fredericks James said Tuesday in a video statement. "Because of the risk of potential infection--not just from the confirmed measles case, but from other persons who may be on the boat at the time--we thought it prudent to make a decision not to allow anyone to disembark." The ship has reportedly been under quarantine since Monday morning, but NBC News reports that "St. Lucian authorities said they don't have the authority to keep it from leaving." As of Wednesday afternoon, it was reportedly scheduled to leave St. Lucia on Thursday at 11:59 p.m. local time.