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Global Mercy sails through sea trials, to undergo post-delivery outfitting in Belgium

Global Mercy, pictured here during sea trials, is expected to double Mercy Ships' current impact with surgeries and training during the vessel's anticipated 50-year lifespan
The world's largest civilian hospital ship, Global Mercy, completed sea trials and following its delivery will head to Belgium for equipping before starting Africa service in early 2022.

Tests covered engine performance and fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, safety and emergency systems, speed, maneuverability and thrusters.

Global Mercy passed every test, according to 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,' he said.

To Antwerp for medical/IT equipment, crewing

Mercy Ships COO Rob Corley confirmed that following handover from China's Tianjin Xingang Shipyard, the vessel will make its maiden voyage to Belgium as a guest of the Port of Antwerp. There, 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. The Europe visit will culminate in a final send-off from Rotterdam for Global Mercy's first voyage to Africa.

Commissioning event in Dakar

Mercy Ships plans to hold an Africa commissioning event for the arrival at Dakar in early 2022 as the vessel begins its field service in Senegal.

The 174-meter, 37,000gt Global Mercy has six operating theaters and hospital wards for 200 patients, plus laboratory, general outpatient, ophthalmology and dental clinics. There is capacity for 950 people in port including 641 crew comprised of volunteers from around the globe.

Training facilities

Global Mercy is specially 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.

The charity expects to more than double its current impact with life-changing surgeries and training of healthcare professionals during the vessel's anticipated 50-year lifespan.

International collaboration

Global Mercy represents an international collaboration. At Tianjin Xingang Shipyard, Stena RoRo AB of Gothenburg, Sweden, has provided project management while Deltamarin of Turku, Finland, designed the vessel. Paris-based brokerage Barry Rogliano Salles was instrumental in negotiating the contract. The ship is classed by UK-based Lloyd’s Register and will be registered to Malta.

Global Mercy will join the current Mercy Ship, Africa Mercy, in service to sub-Saharan and Central Africa.                          

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