This is More Than a Ship. It’s a FLOATING HOSPITAL
Right now, we have the largest floating hospital in our neck of the woods (opps, we mean, waters). The USNS Mercy is a US Navy hospital ship that is currently making its rounds, from Indonesia to Singapore to Malaysia (presently) to Sri Lanka, and then Vietnam. The exercise is part of the 13th Pacific Partnership mission, a yearly disaster response preparedness exercise conducted in these here parts.
Cameron Pinske via militarynews.com
Kelsey L Adams/US Navy via stripes.com
The USNS Mercy was first dispatched to this region after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami left behind utter devastation. Since then, the ship has been sent to offer aid during the aftermath of natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti. It was once an oil tanker that started service back in 1975.
Here’s a few rather impressive facts about the ship in the iteration it is today: –
- Weighs 70,000 tons;
- Has 1,000 patient beds, 12 operating theatres and a medical lab, not to mention a blood bank and pharmacy. Literally, a hospital! In fact, better, because it floats on water and travels the world;
- Is as tall as a 10-storey building, and as long as three football fields;
- Carries 2 helicopters;
- Has a water processing plant that can convert sea water to potable water, at a capacity of 1.14 million litres A DAY!;
- Also has an oxygen producing plant. Make that TWO;
- Has the facilities to support ICU, radiology, optometry, dental, burn treatment and, of course, emergency services.
All of that on water. Impressive is perhaps too modest a word.