Stomach Illness Hits 300 on Cruise Ship

M/S Nautica up to flank speed (above its full cruising speed of 18.5 knots) and began evasive maneuvers. One boat managed to close within 300 yards and pirates fired upon the passenger liner with rifles, but the liner was able to outrun the smaller boats. "It is very fortunate that the liner managed to escape," said Noel Choong who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Malaysia. He urged all ships to remain vigilant in the area. The cruise ship M/S Nautica, owned by Oceania Cruises, was fired upon by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, off the Somali coast, on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008. The liner took evasive action at flank speed and outran the pirates pursuing in two skiffs. piracy, maritime, sea, CBS

A cruise line says about 300 guests have fallen ill with a stomach ailment aboard a cruise to the Caribbean that departed from South Carolina.

Celebrity Cruise spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said Monday night that passengers aboard the Mercury began complaining a day earlier of upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea. Martinez said a total of around 1,800 people are aboard. The ship left Charleston on Feb. 15.

She said the ship's medical facilities were overwhelmed. Another doctor and nurse came aboard in St. Kitts in the British Virgin Islands. The ship made four other stops in the Caribbean.

It's not clear what pathogen was involved, but samples were being dropped off in Puerto Rico for testing. The ship was scheduled to return to Charleston Friday.
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