First Costa Group volunteer signs on with Mercy Ships

Engineer Tomislav Zubovic signed on for a four-month stint aboard Africa Mercy, shown here at its drydock in preparation for Cameroon service Engineer Tomislav Zubovic signed on for a four-month stint aboard Africa Mercy, shown here at its drydock in preparation for Cameroon service (Photo: © Mercy Ships/Katie Callow)

In a key milestone of the recently announced cooperation between Costa Group and Mercy Ships, the first Costa Group volunteer is scheduled to serve a four-month stint aboard Africa Mercy.

Engineer Tomislav Zubovic will support the ship’s staff and pass on his seafaring experiences gained with companies like AIDA Cruises.

Michael Thamm, group ceo, Costa Group and Carnival Asia, said he is thrilled about the quick results that followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding in March.

'The collaboration with Mercy Ships enables us to support the people who need it most. As this reflects our key values, our crews are very much looking forward to becoming active and giving back to society,' Thamm said.

Africa Mercy is the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world and provides free surgeries and dental care to patients with urgent medical needs. It hosts over 400 volunteers from more than 40 nations. Costa Group has committed to continuously man one engineering position on board.

'Tomislav Zubovic and future volunteers will not only lend a helping hand but will also share their knowledge with the other volunteers on board. This way, we can ensure providing sustainable benefits beyond this program,' Thamm added.

Zubovic, 28, holds a degree in marine engineering and has worked on ships including AIDAsol and AIDAluna.

'I am very excited about this challenge,' Zubovic said. 'We are truly making a difference here and I am looking forward to help operate this ship that gives hope to so many people.'

The volunteer program is one of several activities Costa Group and Mercy Ships agreed on in their partnership. In other efforts, passengers will be informed about Mercy Ships and its activities. Additionally, officers and engineers with Mercy Ships have the opportunity to gain seagoing experience and nautical expertise on board Costa Group ships.

To provide immediate help, Costa Group also made a donation of €100,000.

Africa Mercy is preparing to set course for Douala, Cameroon, in August. Douala is the country’s biggest city and home to Central Africa’s largest port. Quality of healthcare in Cameroon is still relatively low and average life expectancy is only 56 years.

Posted 06 July 2017

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review

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