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Scientology-Owned Cruise Ship Quarantined In Caribbean Due To Measles

A cruise ship has been quarantined in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to prevent the spread of measles.

The country's chief medical officer Merlene Fredericks-James said in a message posted to YouTube that officials learned of one case of measles on board the ship on Tuesday.

All 300 passengers and crew members were ordered to stay onboard the ship after it docked in Port Castries due to the contagious nature of the disease.

READ  MORE: Measles Outbreak Spreads Across Four Australian States

Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James
Chief medical officer Merlene Fredericks-James addressed the ship quarantine in a Youtube statement. Image: Youtube/Merrick Andrews.

"No crew or passengers on board the ship were allowed to leave," Fredericks-James said in the video.

"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 this time, we thought it prudent to make a decision not allow anyone to disembark."

While Fredericks-James did not name the ship in question, CNBC reports a St. Lucia coast guard official confirmed the ship is called 'Freewinds'.

According to online vessel tracking website Cruisin a ship called 'Freewinds' was still docked in St. Lucia's Port Castries on Wednesday evening.

Freewinds Ship
Freewinds pictured in Port Castries, St. Lucia.  Image: Cruisin Live Vessel Tracker.

Online vessel database Vessel Finder shows only one large passenger ship in the world named 'Freewinds' and it appears to belong to the Church of Scientology.

A recent promotional video for Scientology's documentary series 'Inside Scientology' was posted to Twitter and features an artist's impression of a 'humanitarian ship' called Freewinds.

The series claims to give viewers an insight into "what powers Scientology's global movement".

The Church of Scientology has been contacted for comment about the ship's quarantine and the health of those on board.

Freewinds Ship Scientology
The Freewinds 'humanitarian ship' from the 'Inside Scientology' series. Image: Inside Scientology series/Twitter/Scientology Amsterdam.

Health authorities in St. Lucia have acted with extra caution to prevent the spread of measles in light of the outbreak in the United States.

More than 700 cases of the disease have been reported across 22 states. New York has the largest number of reported cases, with a massive outbreak in Brooklyn. This prompted New York City to declare a public health emergency in early April.

Under the declaration, people in the affected areas face fines if they are found to be unvaccinated.

READ MORE: New York Declares Measles Public Health Emergency

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au