Cammell Laird to build disaster relief vessel

Cammell Laird has been selected to construct a multi-purpose disaster relief and training vessel under a project led by registered charity Britannia Maritime Aid (BMA).

The vessel would be permanently based in the Caribbean, tasked with supporting disaster relief efforts and providing specialist training for UK and Commonwealth maritime officer cadets, rating apprentices, and trainees in trades associated with aid and reconstruction.

It will also be capable of serving as a commercial Ro-Pax ferry as opposed to being a one-off specialised vessel with limited applications.

The vessel will be operated by a British company and will include a training centre, landing craft, helicopters, drones, rough terrain vehicles, onboard medical facilities, briefing rooms, conference facilities, workshops, and full mission bridge and engine simulators for trainees.

It will have capacity for up to 6,000 tonnes of vehicles and aid supplies including field hospitals, field kitchens, tents, fresh water, and fuel for devastated areas.

BMA says the ship’s regular crew will be supplemented by maritime trainees, cadets, and apprentices who would gain ship handling, navigation, engineering, boat work, and pilotage experience.

The charity will charter suitable ships to run operations until the purpose-built vessel is delivered in 2024.

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