RMS St Helena diverts to Walvis Bay in medical emergency

St Helena’s supply ship changed course for Walvis Bay because of a medical emergency, it was announced on Monday (27 January 2014).

The statement from St Helena Line Ltd did not say whether the situation involved an incident on board the ship, nor whether the patient was one of the 122 passengers.

The RMS St Helena was 399 miles from the Namibian port, two days out from Cape Town, when the decision was taken during the afternoon.

The ship was expected to reach port at about 14.30 hours the following day, steaming at just over 16 knots.

“Options are currently being pursued to deal with the situation at Walvis Bay,” said the statement.

The ship had been due to reach St Helena on Thursday, 30 January. Arrival in James Bay was expected to be at 20.00 on Friday evening, or at 06.00 on Saturday – when the ship was scheduled to travel on to Ascension.

  • A special meeting of the Executive Council was due for Tuesday, 28 January, to discuss the sailing schedule for the RMS St Helena for the year 2015-16: previously reported to the be ship’s last year of serving the island before the opening of its airport ion February 2016.
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About Simon Pipe

Former print and BBC journalist, running St Helena Online news website about British territories in the South Atlantic at www.sthelenaonline.org and blogging occasionally on other sites.
This entry was posted in Health, RMS St Helena, Shipping and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to RMS St Helena diverts to Walvis Bay in medical emergency

  1. Diana van Rensburg says:

    What are the reasons for discontinuing the services of the RMS? Will she still be seaworthy? If so I would have thought that the sea journey from Cape town to St Helena would be an ideal holiday experience on its own – there is no other sea trip like it, I would say. And surely the freight service in itself is worth having.I would like to read the pros and cons on this subject as I have obviously missed the arguments onthe subject.

    • Simon Pipe says:

      Hi Diana. The ship is deemed to be nearing the end of its working life (in terms of its ability to meet British standards, anyway), and is increasingly costly to maintain. Commissioning a new ship would have been almost as expensive as building an airport, and more expensive in the longer term. A cargo vessel will still be needed, but other ships can serve that purpose – and with the new wharf, they won’t need their own on-board crane.

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