Cruise ship linked to Church of Scientology leaves St. Lucia amid measles scare – NBC News


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 / Updated 

By David K. Li

A cruise ship that had beenquarantined this week in St. Luciaover a measles scare has set sail for Curacao, maritime tracking records showed.

The vessel, which St. Lucia Coast Guard Sgt. Victor Theodore said is named Freewinds, left St. Lucia at 11:18 p.m. Thursday and is expected to pull into Willemstad port in Curacao, almost 500 nautical miles west, at 6 a.m. local time Saturday, according tothe site MarineTraffic.

The ship was quarantined, meaning no one was allowed off the vessel, on Monday when local health officials confirmed a female staffer on board contracted the highly infectious disease.

The Freewinds cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology is seen docked in quarantine at the Point Seraphine terminal in Castries, Saint Lucia, on May 2, 2019, after a measles case was detected onboard.Kirk Elliott / AFP – Getty Images

A 440-foot cruise ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology is also named Freewinds. Officials on the island declined to comment on the name of the cruise ship, but Theodore identified to NBC News that it is the same onelisted on the church’s website.

Scientology officials have not returned multiple messages left for the church this week by NBC News.

Before leaving St. Lucia, a doctor aboard the Freewinds requested100 doses of the measles vaccine, an island health official said.

While St. Lucia ordered Freewinds passengers and crew to stay aboard, the island’s government didn’t have authority to keep the vessel from leaving, officials said earlier this week.

A representative for the health ministry in Curacao could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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