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Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author
The truth is that I have had a long personal interest with MERCY SHIPS an amazing 100% volunteer medical organisation that travels the world by ship and provides free medicine and surgeries wherever it is needed. This wonderful mission commenced in 1978 with their first ship and continued with a number of fine classic style ships, one of these being another fine and well-known classic ship.
The famed Hurtigruten or Postal/cargo and
passenger service from
This is a drawing of the MS Polarlys seen as built with the original kingposts and derricks forward
Also seen are the two small electric cranes that remained when the new larger crane was fitted later
Copyright © Mike Bent
Here we see the Norwegian MS Polarlys as built; she proved to be an exceptionally reliable ship!
Note her new large electric crane on her forward bow
As built the Polarlys was 2,163 GRT (Gross Registered Tons), or with a Dead Weight of 600-tons, a length of 80m - 262ft, width of 12.2m – 40ft. She was powered by an 8-cylinder Burmeister & Wain – 2,950 BHP that gave her a speed of 15.5 knots.
Decor was quite attractive having a spacious Buffet Restaurant for both First and Second Class and lounges were grouped together on Promenade Deck, whilst the majority of accommodations were located on the B and C Decks. In total she could berth 186 bunks passengers, however, she was certified to carry an additional 264 deck passengers between short haul ports.
A fine bow view of this delightful ship
The delightful MS Polarlys as history proved had an amazing and a reliable career for 42 years
sailing Norwegian waters and at time further afield, but with new ships being
built she was slowly becoming obsolete and was sold to TFDS in January 1979,
for 32 million Krona, but she continued sailing with Hurtigruten until later
that year. On August 30, the MS Polarlys was officially
handed over and she received a refit and her registration was changed to the
However it was decided in November 1981 to give this fine old lady a new set of engines and after the old ones had been removed they inserted brand new MAK engines with 3,670 BHP offering superior power and she became a faster ship by a good 2 addition knots, now sailing at 17.5 knots, but with a top speed of over 18 knots. She was delivered in March 1983
However, mid 1993 would be the Polarlys’ conclusion with Hurtigruten and her connection with
It would be at the end of April 1994 that the MS Polarlys was sold to MERCY SHIPS in Lindale, Texas, being a wonderful 100% volunteer medical humanitarian organisation “MERCY SHIPS” and she was renamed the Caribbean Mercy. Having received an extensive makeover she became an efficient floating hospital and medical center and she served primarily in Central America and around the Caribbean basin providing free medical services to all who were in need, be it from minor heath care to major cranial reconstructions, as well as life saving surgeries!
During her excellent 12-year history with MERCY SHIPS it is said that the MV Caribbean Mercy contributed around 20% of Mercy Ships’ total output in terms of the number of services, value and she proved to be a perfect ship for them at that time.
This and so many other amazing surgeries are done by Mercy Ships doctors and surgeons!
As a maritime
historian, it was of great interest to me that during her first 42 years the
As a maritime historian, it was of great interest to me that during her first 42 years theMS Polarlys sailed mostly along the Norwegian coastal waters and that only briefly whilst she was the Adriatica cruise ship she made a few voyages further afield. But after her transformation into a hospital ship and her 12 years of service as a Mercy Ship she has visited 137 total ports in a good 18 countries. There are further details on her amazing achievements below!
This is a Mercy Ship’s postcard of the MS Caribbean Mercy
During her 12-year history with MERCY SHIPS,
the Caribbean Mercy contributed
more than 20% of Mercy Ships’ total output in terms of number of
services, value and beneficiaries, serving primarily in Central America and the
Seen here heading for her next destination where is much needed
Facilities & Features
The Caribbean Mercy was also fitted with a highly specialised eye surgery unit, and could accommodate up to 150 people while she was in port. She also had facilities for conference and seminar facilities as a variety of programmes were offered to update medical teams in ports of the latest techniques. Her fuel and water tanks provided a cruising range of 12 days or a good 3,600 miles.
Here w3e see the MV Caribbean Mercy in port where she is undertaking countless operations and other services on board
As well as having teams at clinics ashore helping their trained nurses and doctors with their patients!
Crew onboard the Caribbean Mercy offered close to 289,000 services, at a value of over $100 million and with 348,800 people as direct beneficiaries.
Performed more than 7,000 surgeries such as cataract removal, strabismus, dental and countless orthopaedic procedures.
Treated more than 54,300 people in village medical clinics.
Performed 18,200 dental treatments.
Taught more than 1,500 local health-care workers, who have in turn trained many others in basic health care.
Trained local medical professionals in modern health-care techniques to carry on after the ship’s departure.
Delivered more than $2 million of medical equipment, hospital supplies and medicines.
Completed more than 140 construction and agriculture projects including schools, clinics, orphanages and installed bores and water wells.
Mercy visited 137 total ports in her 12-year history, and conducted 56
field assignments in 18 nations, including:
During her first 42 years the ship only
Built by: Aalborg Vaerft, Aalborg, Denmark 1952
Bergen, 1979 Tromso & 1994 Monrovia.
Main Engine: 8-cylinder Burmeister & Wain – 2,950.
. 1 MAK diesel (3,670 BHP).
Speed: 15.5 knots.
. 17.5 - max 18 knots.
Tonnage: 2,163 GRT.
. 2,125 GRT.
Length: 80m - 262ft.
Breadth: 12.2m - 40ft.
Drought: 4.5m – 14.9ft.
Cargo Capacity: 688m3.
Being a well-designed Scandinavian ship, she looked simply beautiful right through to the very end!
Due to the soon arrival of a new ship the Caribbean Mercy was sold in 2006 to the Sherman Family Charitable Foundation. The new owner wanted to the now renamed ship Home II to be renovated, but she quickly deteriorated and this sadly hindered their plans. She was finally in sold 2010 and 2011 she was broken up in Cristobal in the province of Colon, Panama.
I Am a
I Am aSupporter of MERCY SHIPS I will ask, will you Please HELP those who urgently need your help?
Do I need to say more?
Please SUPPORT this Noble Cause by DONATING NOW!
Please Note: Although the link takes you to the MERCY SHIPS Australian site, you can donate there for it will do the same thing
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He (the LORD) will reward him for what he has done.”
Other countries are listed on the international site!
MERCY SHIPS INDEX:
Anastasis: ex MV
2… MV Good Samaritan/Island Mercy: ex MV Petite Forte.
3… MV Caribbean Mercy: ex MV Polarlys.
4… MV Africa Mercy: ex MV Dronning Ingrid is operational!
5… MV Atlantic Mercy: The New Ship - Due in 2018.
to the ssMaritime Main INDEX Where
the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story Please
Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author
seek no funding or favours of any shape or form, never
have and never will! Photographs
on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s
private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided
by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given
to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without
details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners
of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address
may be found on www.ssmaritime.com only), in order that due credit may be
notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all
photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page,
that is, when a page is updated! ssMaritime
is owned & © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved
Return to the ssMaritime Main INDEX
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author seek no funding or favours of any shape or form, never have and never will!
Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on www.ssmaritime.com only), in order that due credit may be given.
This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!
ssMaritime is owned & © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved