Tianjin Xingang Delivers “A Dream Come True” Hospital Ship Global Mercy
The 12-deck, 37,000-gt vessel is equipped with six operating theaters, hospital beds for 200 patients, a full laboratory and simulation training areas.
The handover was celebrated in the presence of representatives from Mercy Ships, Stena RoRo project managers and shipyard management, joined by a distant audience of Mercy Ships staff and crew from around the world.
Hope, healing and transformation
“Today is a dream come true – not just for us, but for those we serve,” said Don Stephens, founder of Mercy Ships. “African heads of state and ministers of health have often expressed the desire for more of their health professionals to be trained in the country. This ship will do just that. Many disabled and disfigured people will have access to surgical treatment and comprehensive care in health systems that will allow them to reach their God-given potential.
“We hope that this new ship and the volunteer crew who serve on it will bring hope, healing and transformation for the next 40 to 50 years,” he added.
Per Westling, CEO of Stena RoRo, said: “We are very proud to take delivery of this special vessel. The activities to be carried out on board placed particular and high demands on the construction of this vessel. For the yard, it was the first time that this type of vessel had been built, a challenge that they succeeded very well. For Mercy Ships, delivery means their ability to help is more than doubled. And at Stena RoRo, we are happy to be a part of their fantastic work across Global Mercy. ‘
Mercy Ships has been working on this ship project for over eight years. The contracts were signed in 2013 and the keel laid in 2015. The sea trials were completed at the end of April.
Outfitting the world’s largest NGO hospital ship
In July, Global Mercy is due to sail to Europe. There, hosted by the port of Antwerp from the beginning of September, it will also be equipped with computer installations and medical equipment and upholstery.
The volunteer team will also begin to register in stages during this phase which will culminate with open events in Rotterdam in the first quarter of 2022 where Global Mercy will be introduced to sponsors, future volunteers, media and other interested parties. . A new reception in Africa is planned in Dakar, Senegal, before the ship begins to operate fully.
Double the impact
Surgical conditions are estimated to account for nearly a third of all illnesses worldwide (Lancet 2015). Drawing on the charity’s more than 30 years of experience in providing surgical care in Africa, Global Mercy is equipped with first-class training facilities designed to multiply impact in the countries it serves. Volunteer professionals will contribute alongside local health professionals in the host country.
Swedish shipbuilders Stena RoRo were responsible for overseeing the construction, Paris-based Barry Rogliano Salles acted as broker, detailed designs were carried out by Finnish Deltamarin and construction was carried out in China. Global Mercy is listed by Lloyd’s Register in the UK and sails under the Maltese flag. Many other companies around the world contributed to the completion of the ship.
Volunteer applications are always open
Mercy Ships is accelerating the recruitment of long-term and short-term professional volunteers to lend their time and expertise during this new season. More than 640 medical, maritime and programmatic crew members will be able to live and serve on board with space for up to 950 people aboard the ship when it is docked. The crew currently comes from over 60 nations.