Why is Americas Other Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy, in San Francisco and Not Haiti?

Get up to speed about the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship right here over at Telstar Logistics. Right now, this ship is sitting around in San Francisco as part of a $10,000,000 routine refit from BAE Sytems that got started a week ago.

The Mercy’s sister ship USNS Comfort is in Haitian waters currently with a crew of 1200(!) performing operations, delivering babies, the works.

So, will the Mercy head on out soon?

A massive former oil tanker:

As she looks this dreary afternoon at San Francisco’s Pier 70:

Some are calling for the Mercy to ship out to Haiti right now:

“Yes, I know about the tyranny of distance from San Diego to Port-au-Prince. According to distances.com, it would be a 5,281 mile voyage taking some 11 days.

Yes, I  know the MERCY is presently at a shipyard in San Francisco through the beginning of March.

Yes, I know that it is manpower intensive.  Call-up reservists and guardsmen.  You know how to reach me.  (I would make a great blogger/social media guru aboard MERCY).

Have Project Hope recruit more volunteers!  Recruit personnel from across the inter-agency.  Get our coalition partners involved.  Hire contractors.

Yes, I know it would require a backfill in the Pacific.

Yes, I know it is expensive.  Hold another tele-a-thon.

Yes, it would require lots of supplies.”

People around town are looking into this, so we’ll find out soon enough.

Leaving you with a scene from the Comfort from last week:

100119-N-4995K-187 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 19, 2010) Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Adam Buzzeo prepares medical equipment during the assessment of a six-year-old Haitian boy brought aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). The boy, who was Comfort’s first patient as part of Operation Unified Response, suffered an injury to his bladder and a hip fracture during an earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan 12. The boy is in the intensive care unit aboard Comfort in stable condition. Comfort is supporting Operation Unified Response, a joint operation providing humanitarian assistance to Haiti. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chelsea Kennedy/Released)

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2 Responses to “Why is Americas Other Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy, in San Francisco and Not Haiti?”

  1. Al says:

    __Mercy__ should stay in the USA. Which hospital ship you gonna be asking for when San Francisco has its next seismic event?

    We should not be re-building Haiti. Haitians are adults, not children. They wanted their independence? They have it.

    Let Chavez spend the Venezuelan taxpayers’ money to rebuild Haiti. He wants to be the socialist vanguard of the Caribbean? Babysitting Haiti is part of that package.

  2. Ernesto says:

    The University of Miami has established a 300 bed tent hospital at the airport in Port Au Prince, with over 100 medical and nursing staff working round the clock. Why not move the staff of this facility entirely on board the USNS Mercy, the Navy’s other Hospital Ship.

    I am helping to coordinate relief efforts for the University of Miami, and believe me we are looking for ways to more effectively transition our activities in Haiti to more stable hospital environment. We are receiving offers from all over the country for volunteers, we could easily staff the entire hospital ship with doctors and nurses, technicians, you name it. If anyone out there has official USNAVY contacts please get in touch with me (305-815-0591), I will put you in touch with the University of Miami School of Medicine leadership. This would be a perfect match.