New Mercy Ship, the Global Mercy™, Ready to Sail Around the Globe

Global Mercy sailing

We are very excited to announce that our newest ship, the Global Mercy™, is officially seaworthy after passing the final sea trials. This marks a major milestone for Mercy Ships and signals the approaching end of the construction process, started in 2015. Passing sea trials means the vessel can sail for an extended time as all systems are fully operational and meet strict industry standards. In other words: the Global Mercy is ready to sail around the globe.

“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,” stated Jim Paterson, Marine Executive Consultant for Mercy Ships.

Darryl Anderson, Executive Director of Mercy Ships Canada, acknowledged the vital work that Canadian volunteer and Global Mercy‘s Chief Engineer, Irik Mallie, was doing on the new shipbuilding project. Mr. Mallie, a former Chief Engineer for BC Ferries, is bringing decades of experience to the leadership team.

Global Mercy World Tour: From Asia to Europe to Africa

Before it launches into service to sub-Saharan Africa, the Global Mercy has some sailing to do. First, the ship will sail from the shipyard in Tianjin, China to Belgium as a guest in the Port of Antwerp. Here, we will complete several months of final outfitting, including installation of medical equipment and IT systems.

The Global Mercy will be stocked with supplies by the Mercy Ships European Distribution Center in Rotterdam. Then we will host a very special set of events to open up and show our amazing new vessel to our sponsors, donors, volunteers, and the press. Here, people can take a tour of the ship and experience what patients experience when they step onboard of the Global Mercy. From the Netherlands the ship sets sail for Africa with the commissioning in Dakar, Senegal, and its first field service by early 2022.

More Than Double the Impact Long-Term

The Global Mercy is the world’s largest civilian hospital ship. The purpose-designed hospital decks are the unique heart of the ship, consisting of six operating theatres and hospital wards for 200 patients, as well as a laboratory and general outpatient, ophthalmology, and dental clinics. The ship has space for up to 950 persons in port and accommodations for 641 crew, comprised of volunteers from around the globe. The Global Mercy is specially equipped with first-class training facilities so we can contribute to the sustainable support of essential surgical and related skills for local healthcare professionals when docked. With the new ship, we will more than double our impact with life-changing surgeries and training of healthcare professionals over an anticipated 50-year lifespan.

Thanks to a Global Collaboration

With an overall length of 174-meters, a beam of 28.6 meters, and a gross tonnage of 37,000, the ship is a tailored passenger ship-class vessel. And we would not have come this far without our partners from all over the world. The Global Mercy has undergone construction at Tianjin Xingang Shipyard in China, with project management by Stena RoRo AB from Sweden and construction design by Deltamarine from Finland. The French ship brokerage company Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) was instrumental in helping negotiate the contract. The new ship is classed by Lloyd’s Register in the United Kingdom who witnessed the important tests. The Global Mercy is flagged by Malta and will initially serve in Africa.

Learn more about the Global Mercy >>

volunteer Florence Bangura

The Woman Who Forged Her Way Through Walls: Florence Bangura’s Story

Florence’s journey from oldest to newest Mercy Ship came full circle when she met the Global Mercy™ in 2023, the same year that the purpose-built hospital ship began welcoming its patients on board. Today, you can find Florence, now 49 years old, down in the engine room as a hotel engineering assistant.

Dr Austin Demby

Transforming Sierra Leone’s Healthcare: A Vision for Safe and Affordable Surgery

As experts from the surgical and healthcare world gather for the 64th Annual Conference and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Surgeons in Sierra Leone this week, a profound dedication to advancing surgical knowledge and practice in the region is palpable. At the forefront of discussions lies the conference’s pivotal theme: access to safe and affordable surgical and anesthetic care in West Africa. This theme highlights the pressing need to address disparities in healthcare capabilities and capacities across the region, especially the critical importance of equitable access to quality surgical interventions.

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