Most crew and passengers on measles ship now out of quarantine

Curacao’s government has said that most of the passengers and crew of cruise ship Freewinds (IMO 6810811) are now free to go after an extended period in quarantine.

The vessel, described by the Church of Scientology as a floating “religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counselling in the Scientology religion.”, had not been allowed to disembark anyone since late April after  health officials in St. Lucia imposed a quarantine on the vessel. One member of the ship’s crew had come down with measles. St Lucia provided about 100 doses of the measles vaccine at the request of the ship doctor.

Freewinds departed St Lucia for her home port of Curacao on May 2nd, arriving on May 4th. The government of Curacao maintained the quarantine. Health officials administered blood tests to those on board to determine whether they could catch or spread the disease.

By Tuesday May 14th, favourable results had come back for 199 crewmembers and 91 passengers. Epidemiologist Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth told CNN that “they are not running a risk of contracting the disease and are no threat to transmit the disease to others. In other words, there is no reason to keep them on board. They are free to move”.

There were still 28 people on board, including some who are held in isolation, he said. The quarantine will remain in effect until Monday.

1968-built, Panama-flagged, 9,780 gt Freewinds (formerly the Bohème) is owned by San Donato Properties Corp care of Cruise Management International of Miami, Florida. San Donato Properties Panama has no staff. It is owned by East Grinstead, UK-based Flag Ship Trust, which has conducted a number of financial transactions with the Church of Scientology and which shares an address with the Church’s UK (and formerly global) headquarters, which was also for several years the home of L Ron Hubbard, science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology.