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

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

Mercy Ships announced this on 10 May. Tests conducted during the trials include engine performance and fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, emergency systems, speed tests, manoeuvrability, engine, and thruster tests as well as 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,’ says Jim Paterson, Marine Executive Consultant for Mercy Ships. ‘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. We are then left with some finishing touches in the interior, particularly the hospital area before we take delivery.’

Rotterdam send-off

After Mercy Ships takes final delivery of the vessel, the ship 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 as well as stocking the vessel with supplies through the Mercy Ships European Distribution Center in the Netherlands.

Also read: World’s largest civilian hospital ship is coming to Rotterdam

The visit to Europe will culminate in a final send-off from Rotterdam for the ship’s first voyage to Africa. Mercy Ships also 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.

Floating hospital with training facilities

The purpose-designed hospital decks represent the unique heart of the ship, consisting 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.

The Global Mercy is especially equipped with first-class training facilities to allow Mercy Ships to contribute to the sustainable support of essential surgical and related skills for local healthcare professionals when docked.

Also read: Mercy Ships reveals its new 174-metre hospital ship

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.