Thursday, 29 April 2010

Life onboard a commercial cargo-ship...

This past weekend a small group of us visited a cargo-ship berthed on the other side of our dock, the Chennai-flagged BMC Genesis. This vessel sailed from Pakistan to Togo via Durban, South Africa, with a consignment of rice.

The BMC Genesis is crewed by Indian sailors who gave us lovely chai tea and took us on a tour of their ship. The Genesis, like many commercial ships, has no Internet connection and no TV and thus the crew spend their spare time playing cards and reading. They are often short of supplies and have to fashion make-shift solutions to rather complex problems. There are difficult issues in the engine-room that require attention. Despite these challenges, the ship does have a bridge equipped with all the crucial navigational aids required on a modern ship, and safety equipment such as lifeboats and fire-fighting gear.

Our tour of the Genesis gave us a glimpse into the tough life onboard a commercial cargo-ship in the merchant marine, and certainly made me very thankful to work and serve on the Mercy Ship.

It also made me even more thankful for all our day volunteers and crew in the Deck and Engineering departments, who work so hard to ensure that the Africa Mercy is well-maintained and in ship-shape condition. Without these departments, we'd just be an empty shell, incapable of providing our patients with life-changing surgeries.

So thanks to the technical departments who keep our lights burning, toilets flushing and air-conditioning flowing! You are a blessing to all of us.

Here are some more photos of the BMC Genesis.

This is the rather dirty main engine.

Passageway in the Genesis.

The bridge.

The Fire Panel of the Genesis. Naturally I found this rather interesting.

A lovely reminder on the bridge.

One of two lifeboats that this ship carries.

Indian-flagged vessel.

Africa Mercy (in background) as seen from the BMC Genesis.

No comments: