Scientology 'Ship of Horrors' Live Tracker: Follow Quarantined Cruise Ship With Measles Reported Onboard

A Church of Scientology-operated cruise ship—quarantined in the Carribbean island of St. Lucia due to a measles case onboard—has now set sail for the island of Curacao after several days stuck in port.

The ship left St. Lucia late on Thursday after local health officials sent 100 doses of vaccine to the ship, Reuters reported. Authorities had refused to allow the nearly 300 staff and passengers to disembark. The ship—named Freewinds—had been stuck in port near the capital of Castries for several days.

According to Reuters Eikon shipping data, the ship arrived in St. Lucia on Thursday. NBC News cited a St. Lucia Coast Guard sergeant, who confirmed the ship was the 440-foot Freewinds owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.

Online shipping trackers show that the Panama-flagged vessel has now left St. Lucia and is on its way to its home port in Curacao. The Freewinds' progress can be tracked in real time by both the MarineTraffic and My Ship Tracking websites.

Freewinds is expected to arrive in Curacao—an autonomous oil refining and tourist center belonging to the Netherlands—at around 6 a.m. ET on Saturday. Island authorities did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment as to whether Freewinds' passengers and crew would be allowed to disembark.

St. Lucian officials told NBC News they did not have the authority to prevent the ship from leaving. On Tuesday, St. Lucia' Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Frederick-James released a statement noting that the confirmed measles case was stable and under surveillance by the ship's medical crew. She noted that the incubation period of measles is 10 to 12 days before symptoms appear. NBC News reported that the infected person was a female crew member.

The Church of Scientology website describes the Freewinds as a floating "religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counseling in the Scientology religion."

But according to Ramana Dienes-Browning, a former senior executive on the Freewinds, her time aboard was like being "an "animal in a cage." In an op-ed for ABC News, Dienes-Browning said she was forced into an "extensive re-indoctrination" program after being caught trying to escape the ship. As part of the punishment, she was forced to do hard labor in the ship's engine room and eventually became suicidal.

"I took to always carrying a pocket knife with me as the idea that I could take my life at any time was the only way I could feel some sense of empowerment," Dienes-Browning wrote. "The one thing stopping me was the image of my mother's face when she would hear the news of my death." She eventually left the church some five years later.

On Thursday, actress and former Scientologist Leah Rimmini told Newsweek the outbreak in St. Lucia may have been "a blessing in disguise" if any of the ship's passengers managed to "get off this ship of horrors." There is no indication that anyone left the vessel.

In a statement sent to Newsweek on May 14, the Church of Scientology said that all passengers and crew had been "fully cleared of any possible risk of being infected by the measles or infecting others." The church said its safety and medical protocols had proved "highly effective in containing the illness to one single case," and noted the ship's response was acknowledged by health authorities in Curacao.

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

This article has been updated to include a statement from the Church of Scientology.

Scientology 'Ship of Horrors' Live Tracker: Follow Quarantined Cruise Ship With Measles Reported Onboard | World