The hospital ship Global Mercy, the biggest civilian ship of her kind ever constructed, has concluded her official sea trials after several years of building at CSSC's Tianjin Xingang shipyard in northern China. The shipyard will present the ship for delivery this summer after some final fitting out. After being shipped, she will be crewed and outfitted in Antwerp and Rotterdam before heading to Senegal for her first mission.
"These deep-water trials represent a critical checklist for our new purpose-built ship... [and] I am pleased to say that the Global Mercy successfully passed every test," said Jim Paterson, Marine Executive Consultant for Mercy Ships. "We are then left with some finishing touches in the interior, particularly the hospital area before we take delivery."
"The purpose of a sea trial is to ensure that the ship's systems are operating properly and that the specifications and applicable standards are met," says Per Westling, CEO of Stena RoRo."The hospital services to be provided on the Global Mercy entail increased requirements for good ventilation and minimization of vibrations, for example. This was also checked and she was approved on all counts. "
The project was established following international guidelines for ro/pax ferries by Stena RoRo. The configuration has been changed to a passenger-only ship with medical facilities. Six operating rooms, 200 hospital beds, a laboratory, a patient pharmacy, and an eye and dental clinic are all available at the Global Mercy. She would have a total capacity of 950 people, including 640 crew members. The ship is LR-classed and will be sailing under the Maltese flag. The project is being led by Stena RoRo, with Deltamarin, a Finnish naval architecture firm, contributing to the design.
The Global Mercy is scheduled to deploy to Dakar, Senegal, in 2022 for the first mission. She will offer a range of emergency services to underserved populations with the help of more than 600 onboard volunteers from around the world, including experienced mariners and medical professionals. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 93% of the population lacks access to secure surgical treatment, and the coronavirus pandemic has placed local services under pressure. According to Mercy Ships, a hospital ship is a perfect platform for meeting the needs of coastal nations with inadequate shoreside facilities.
"For a few years now, our team has consisted of up to 16 members, stationed at the Tianjin Xingang shipyard," said Stena project leader and site manager Rikard Olsson, who has been working on the project in China since 2016. "For this shipyard, this is the first time this kind of ship, which can be compared to a cruise ship, has been built. We have worked hard to meet the required standard and everything has gone very well. "