A South Shields seafarer is celebrating World Maritime Day today by volunteering on-board the world’s largest civilian floating hospital, which is docked in Madagascar.
Simon Purvis, 26, began volunteering with international charity Mercy Ships – which runs the hospital – in 2014, while it was docked in the Republic of Congo.
I could never have imagined that my career could open me up to experiences like volunteering with Mercy ShipsSimon Purvis
He returned this year when the ship – which provides free surgeries and humanitarian care to the poor – was in Madagascar, and will remain on board until the end of November.
He is the second officer on the Africa Mercy, and is in charge of safety and training.
He said: “I became a seafarer to see the world, but I could never have imagined that my career could open me up to experiences like volunteering with Mercy Ships.
“I feel a great sense of purpose in serving as part of an organisation where we prioritise loving our neighbour, helping and caring for others.”
Simon is raising money for Mercy Ships. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Simon-Purvis2