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HMS Ark Royal could become hospital ship

Filed under: New Air Ambulances — Posted by: Mark on January 9, 2012

A novel idea from an Irish businessman is being reported in the press, which could see former UK flagship aircraft carrier, the HMS Ark Royal, being recommissioned as a hospital ship.

The move has been proposed by Malcolm McMullen, who, in partnership with a US billionaire, would see the ship converted into a fully equipped quick response hospital which could ultimately operate in disaster zones all over the world.

The vessel is presently up for sale following its decommissioning as part of the Government’s Strategic Defence Review in 2010. There are many potential uses for the ship, including it being sunk to provide a man-made reef for diving off the Devon coast.

It is reported that there are also bids in place which would see it converted into a nightclub, casino or simply sold off for scrap; a far from illustrious end for what was once the flagship of the Royal Navy.

Thankfully, the idea of it being recommissioned as a hospital ship is generating lots of interest.

Apart from the global humanitarian role it would play, its transformation would also create thousands of job in Belfast, at the Harland & Wolff site famous for building the Titanic.

What makes the plan so compelling is that it could be used as a floating base for helicopter air ambulances, providing emergency aid for when local infrastructures fail.

Furthermore, it could also be used as an interim base for UK tourists undergoing medical repatriation by private air ambulance from Spain’s Mediterranean islands and similar locations throughout the world.

The tendering process is now closed, with the MoD presently considering its options.

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