THE Port of Townsville is providing “in kind” support to North Queensland’s YWAM medical ship for six months.
YWAM MS is a world-class medical ship that has been docked in Townsville since March and will be homed in the Townsville Marine Precinct until October 2020.
The six-month in-kind berthage support will help prevent the not-for-profit organisation from suffering financial impacts due to the impacts of COVID-19 which have forced the vessel to remain in Australia an unplanned seven months.
YWAM Port Captain, Jeremy Schierer said that the medical ships had planned to remain in Papua New Guinea for all of 2020.
“When COVID-19 changed the world in mid-March and medical and training outreaches had to be suspended with international volunteers no longer able to travel to PNG, we brought the ship back to our home base Townsville,” he said. “Port of Townsville’s provision of a wharf for the medical ship on a gift-in-kind basis is a massive help in this time of extended uncertainty and financial upheaval. “YWAM Medical Ships is using this time for repairs and maintenance and looks forward to redeploying to PNG as soon as possible.”
Townsville Port’s general manager business strategy and sustainability, Claudia Brumme-Smith said that the decision to provide free berthage for the medical ship was essential in allowing business to stay afloat during their suspended operations