UnNews:Cruise ship passengers speaking French and dressing stupidly may have Legionnaires
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29 July 2007
By around ten o'clock last night, seven of the 750 passengers onboard were spotted "wearing ridiculous white hats and green and red epaulettes, carrying automatic machine weapons in their arms and hands, and speaking in a Gallic voice about Indochina."
Fellow passenger Arthurnald Pepe, 70, a shoe cobbler from Salisbury, described how earlier in the day he saw an elderly couple take a drink of what he believes to be water. He said: "Within a couple of minutes of drinking it they were talking a foreign language that sounded horribly like French."
"I knew then something was wrong."
The ill passengers were disembarked at a Swedish hospital, and the ship is now returning to the UK early for a "thorough disinfecting". Meanwhile, as further precaution, all French-speakers on the vessel have been locked in the ship's brig and all running water has been cut off until further testing.
A boat thought to be transporting several thousand white kepis - the hats worn by the French Foreign Legion - to the cruise liner was torpedoed by a nearby submarine. It was later discovered to be delivering Christmas cakes to Africa.
The landlubbered Legionnaires' will remain in Swedish hospital for several days while tests are carried out. A nurse at the Frejdi Lljunbergkroeft Hospital in Stockholm said: "Although the patients show symptoms commonly associated with Legionnaires' Disease, it is still too early to name it."
"It is entirely possible they are just having a laugh."