Our first volunteer, Johnny Joensuu, was assisting with ship maintenance in Las Palmas during his volunteer period. As a hospital ship, Africa Mercy spends most of her time in port. She only sails about two weeks each year and since most of the people on board are volunteers, they have little experience of working at sea. Therefore our experienced employees with their unique technical and naval competence are able to offer a wealth of knowledge first hand.
”The biggest challenge was right at the beginning when I only had a week to learn all about the ship’s systems before we sat sail for Las Palmas, says Johnny Joensuu. “In my role as Third Engineer I’ve was given responsibility for the generators on board. My job was to make sure the planned maintenance is done in a satisfactory way and to get the ship ready for her next voyage to Guinea in August”.
Normally Johnny works as a Third Engineer on Stena Saga and even though his everyday work on board has been quite similar to back home, it has been an eye-opening experience.
“The trip itself has been amazing. I have met a lot of people from different backgrounds and nationalities. One thing that I’ll brought back home with me is the understanding of how fortunate we are. Medical care and schools are things we take for granted, which are not available for a lot of the people I have met on board, says Johnny.
The final destination for Africa Mercy was Guinea on the west coast of Africa.