A British ship, the RFA Argus, carrying vital equipment to assist in the fight against Ebola arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 30 October. 

Floating hospital

RFA Argus is essentially a ‘floating hospital’, with a state-of-the-art casualty unit. The 18,000 tonnes vessel left Falmouth in Cornwall on 17 October and then travelled to the British naval base in Gibraltar, where it was loaded with cargo and aid, which included 32 off-road vehicles and three Merlin helicopters. Around 750 service personnel are on board.

The local government and port authority asked Smit Lamnalco to ensure the vessel’s safe approach and berthing. 

On completion of the berthing, the Commanding Officer of the RFA Argus, David Eagles, thanked the tug masters for their professional service. The local authorities also expressed their gratitude to Smit Lamnalco and African Minerals for their cooperation and support in the fight against Ebola and for responding to the request for assistance.

Released from duties

David Ferrier, Smit Lamnalco Contract Manager for the African Minerals contract, says: “With the support of our client, African Minerals, the local Smit Lamnalco team and two tugs, the Lamnalco Puma and the SL Serval, were released from their normal duties and allowed to assist in the escort and berthing of the RFA Argus.”

Smit Lamnalco provides marine mining logistics and transshipment solutions to African Minerals to enable them to export iron ore.

Lamnalco Puma escorting and berthing hospital ship RFA Argus.