Mercy Ships has taken delivery of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Global Mercy.
The ship was delivered to the international charity at the Tianjin Xingang shipyard in northern China, where the purpose-built hospital ship was constructed.
Mercy Ships has been working on the project for more than eight years, with the first contracts signed in 2013 and keel laying in 2015. Sea trials were successfully completed this past April.
”This day is a dream come true – not only for us, but for those we serve,” said Don Stephens, Mercy Ships founder. ”African heads of states and ministers of health have often expressed a desire for more of their healthcare professionals to be trained in-country. This ship will do exactly that. Many who suffer from disability and disfigurement will have access to surgical treatment and whole-person care in healthcare systems that will enable them to reach their Godgiven potential. We hope that this new vessel and the volunteer crew who serve on her will bring hope, healing and transformation for the next 40-50 years.”
Stena RoRo has been working on the project since the beginning and was responsible for the design, contracting and execution of the project.
“We are very proud to take delivery of this special ship,” says Per Westling, managing director for Stena RoRo. “The activities to be carried out on board have placed certain special and stringent demands on shipbuilding. For the shipyard, it was the first time they had built a vessel of this type – a challenge they have managed extremely well. For Mercy Ships, the delivery means that their capacity to provide care has more than doubled, and at Stena RoRo we are happy to be a part of their fantastic work through the construction of the Global Mercy.”
At 37,000 tonnes, the ship is largest civilian hospital ship in the world and can accommodate 950 people including a crew of 641. With 12 decks, it features six operating “theaters”, beds for 200 people, a laboratory, and eye clinic.
Global Mercy will now set sail on its maiden voyage to Belgium, under the command of Captain Taylor Perez, where the vessel will be staffed with volunteers and have the last of the medical equipment installed. It will then continue to Rotterdam to be presented to sponsors, future volunteers, the media and other interested parties. After that, the Global Mercy will be ready to sail to West Africa for service at Dakar in Senegal.
Global Mercy joins the 1980-built Africa Mercy, which has been Mercy Ships’ sole operating hospital ship since joining the fleet in 2007. Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships has had between 1 and 3 ships in service at any given time.
France-based Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) served as the broker in the Global Mercy project, while detailed design was provided by Finnish Deltamarin. The ship is classed by Lloyd’s Register and will sail under the Maltese flag while operating along the coast of Africa.
Global Mercy Particulars:
Length: 174 meters
Beam: 28.6 meters
Draught: 6.15 meters
Gross tonnage: 37,000 tonnes
Deadweight: 5,448 tonnes
Total area, interior: 30,000 square meters
Sign up for our newsletter