Cruise ship crew pepper spray brawling passengers over feared mutiny onboard holiday vessel marooned in the Caribbean for three days in fresh coronavirus panic
- The MSC Meraviglia was denied permission to dock at three Caribbean ports
- Authorities feared the vessel was carrying patients with coronovirus symptoms
- Some passengers started brawling in a dining room forcing the crew to react
- A video emerged of the crew using pepper spray to reassert control onboard
Crew onboard a luxury cruise ship pepper sprayed brawling passengers angry that the vessel had been marooned in the Caribbean for three days following a coronavirus scare.
Fellow passengers applauded the crew as they battled to reassert control on board the MSC Meraviglia during the fight which broke out in a dining hall.
A bystander captured video of the fighting among passengers in the dining hall on the ship. She said the video shows crew members pepper-spraying the people engaged in the fight.
This is the moment brawling passengers on board the MSC Meraviglia were pepper sprayed by crew amid chaotic scenes. Passengers were angry after the vessel had been refused permission to dock at three Caribbean ports as a result of the coronovirus epidemic
Fellow passengers applauded the crew for taking action against the fighting holidaymakers
The ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico, after it was turned away from two other ports, media reported.
The cruise liner was denied permission to dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Georgetown, the Cayman Islands, on Tuesday, February 25.
MSC Cruises said Friday morning that the MSC Meraviglia vessel was given a clean bill of health by Mexican health officials. Medical checks were administered on a crew member and a female guest whom local Caribbean authorities feared were sick with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, reports said. The two reportedly had the flu.
The company said the measures by Jamaica and Grand Cayman were ‘born out of fear, not best medical practice,’ and caused ‘unnecessary and unjustifiable anxiety’.
The MSC Meraviglia, pictured had been denied permission to dock in three Caribbean ports before arriving at the island of Cozumel, off the Mexican coast. Eventually passengers were allowed to disembark after Mexican officials found no evidence of coronovirus on board
MSC Cruises added that the 4,580 guests onboard will ‘receive a 100 percent refund of their cruise fare due to the disruptive nature of their vacation’.
MSC Meraviglia passenger Blanca Haddad captured the videos. She told Storyful tensions were high aboard the vessel.
‘People were getting hyped. We were locked in a ship and couldn’t get off in the ports of Jamaica or Grand Cayman,’ Haddad said.
‘People were becoming frustrated and began fighting with crew members. To stop the fight they sprayed us with pepper spray.’
Haddad said the passengers and crew were allowed out in Mexico because testing came out negative for the two guests on board who were thought to be carrying the virus.
Storyful has reached out to MSC Cruises for comment on the alleged pepper-spray incident.