World’s largest civilian hospital ship handed to Mercy Ships
Ribbon cut for 37,000-gt Global Mercy in front of representatives from Mercy Ships and project manager Stena RoRo
Hospital ships charity Mercy Ships has taken delivery of its first purpose-built newbuilding at a handover ceremony at the Tianjin Xingang Shipyard where it was built.
The delivery of the 37,000-gt Global Mercy was celebrated in the presence of representatives from Mercy Ships and project managers from Stena RoRo, together with shipyard management, joined by a remote audience of Mercy Ships staff and crew from around the world.
The ribbon for the world’s largest civilian hospital ship was cut by Yini Olsson after the vessel’s recent successful completion of sea trials. She is the wife of Rikard Olsson, Stena RoRo’s project and site manager for the vessel’s construction.
Mercy Ships marine executive consultant Jim Paterson (center) signs on the dotted line on behalf of Mercy Ships takes ownership of the Global Mercy ™ during the final delivery and acceptance ceremony 17 June 2021 together. He is joined by (Left) CSTC (China Shipbuilding Trading Company) representative Sun Yong and (Right) XGSIC (Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Company Limited) representative Liu Zhigang, Deputy General Manager, Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry CO., LTD (Back row L-R: Liu Shushan, Business Department XGSIC, Pan Xi, CSTC, Lin Jiming, General Manager, XGSIC, Lu Jun, Senior Surveyor, Lloyd’s Register, Wang Xiaohai, Secretary of the Party Committee、Chairman, XGSIC, Rikard Olsson Newbuilding Project and Site Manager, Stena RoRo AB, Ken Zhang, Broker, BRS (Asia Shipping), Marco Scopaz, Senior Passenger Ship Surveyor Lloyd’s Register, Mao Haibo, Vice Director, Production, XGSIC)
Mercy Ships founder Don Stephens, who spoke via video, said: “This day is a dream come true — not only for us, but for those we serve.”
With 12 decks, the Global Mercy is equipped with six operating theatres, hospital beds for 200 patients, a full laboratory and simulation training areas. The ship is expected to operate for 40 to 50 years.
Stephens said: “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 God-given potential.”
Building the ship has been a major project of collaboration since a decision in 2007 to construct a new vessel. This led to the first piece of steel being cut and block for the keel laid in 2015.
The Global Mercy delivery ceremony
Swedish shipowner Stena RoRo has been responsible for construction supervision, French company BRS acted as broker and detailed designs were done by Deltamarin in Finland.
Per Westling, chief executive of Stena RoRo, said: “We are very proud to take delivery of this special ship. The activities to be carried out onboard have placed special and high demands on the construction.”
The Global Mercy will now sail from the shipyard in China to Belgium, where it will be a guest of the Port of Antwerp.
While docked there, several months of final outfitting will be completed, including the installation of medical equipment and IT systems as well as stocking with supplies completed in Rotterdam.
The Global Mercy will then sail to Africa for commissioning in Dakar, Senegal, followed by its first field service from early 2022.
The ship’s deployment with 640 medical and maritime volunteers onboard will allow Mercy Ships to more than double its current medical impact once a refit has been done to its existing ship — the converted, 16,000-gt ro-ro ferry Africa Mercy (built 1980).
Mercy Ships is ramping up recruitment of long and short-term volunteer professionals to lend their time and expertise to the ship, which has space for up to 950 on board when it is docked. The charity takes crew from more than 60 nations.
June 29, 2021 By