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World’s largest civilian hospital ship, the Global Mercy, passes final sea trials

May 12, 2021   Maryam Farag

Photo: Mercy Ships.

Mercy Ships announced that the Global Mercy has completed deep water sea trials, one of the final stages towards the hospital ship’s delivery, equipping, maiden voyage and launch into service to sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

The Global Mercy has an overall length of 174 metres, a beam of 28.6 metres, and a gross tonnage of 37,000. It has undergone construction at Tianjin Xingang Shipyard, with project management by Stena RoRo AB of Gothenburg, Sweden, and construction design by Deltamarin of Turku, Finland. The Global Mercy is flagged by Malta and will initially serve within Africa.

Deep water trials are designed to test the vessel during extended sailing time to ensure that all systems are fully operational and in line with strict standards and specifications. Tests include engine performance and fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, emergency systems, speed tests, maneuverability, engine, and thruster tests and safety evaluations.

“These deep-water trials represent a critical checklist before delivery of our new purpose-built ship to become the platform for service it is designed to be. Trials systematically test operational aspects by putting the vessel through paces for an extended period at sea. I am pleased to say that the Global Mercy successfully passed every test,” said Jim Paterson, Marine Executive Consultant, Mercy Ships. “We are then left with some finishing touches in the interior, particularly the hospital area before we take delivery.”

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Rob Corley, COO, Mercy Ships, confirmed that after the ship takes final delivery of the vessel, it will make its maiden voyage to Belgium as a guest of the Port of Antwerp. While docked, the Global Mercy will complete several months of final outfitting and crewing. This includes installation of medical equipment and IT systems and stocking the vessel with supplies through the Mercy Ships European Distribution Centre in the Netherlands. The visit to Europe will culminate in a final send-off from Rotterdam for the ship’s first voyage to Africa.

Mercy Ships plans to hold an Africa commissioning event for the arrival of the Global Mercy in Dakar in early 2022, at the start of the ship’s first field service in Senegal.

The ship consists of six operating theatres and hospital wards for 200 patients, laboratory, general outpatient, ophthalmology and dental clinics.  The ship has space for up to 950 persons in port including 641 crew, comprised of volunteers from around the globe.