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Island Mercy (Retired)

Deployed 1983 Retired 2001


The former Newfoundland coastal ferry Petite Forte was donated to Mercy Ships in 1983. She sailed for 11 years as the Good Samaritan serving the Caribbean, Central and South America, until 1994 when she was renamed the Island Mercy and redeployed to the South Pacific where she served until 2001. The vessel went through extensive renovations including the building of operating theatres onboard. The ship was sold in 2001 to a Philippine interest.

Facilities & Features

The Island Mercy focused on eye and dental services, and carried cargo and a permanent crew of 60 people. Her shallow draft allowed her access where larger Mercy Ships could not reach.

Services Delivered

Crew onboard the Island Mercy offered more than 145,000 services at a value of over $70 million and with 113,000 people as direct beneficiaries.

  • Performed more than 1,150 surgeries such as cataract removal, strabismus, dental and orthopaedic procedures.
  • Treated more than 12,750 people in village medical clinics.
  • Performed 29,370 dental treatments.
  • Trained local medical professionals in modern health-care techniques to carry on after the ship’s departure.
  • Taught local health-care workers to train others in basic health care.
  • Delivered more than $359,000 of medical equipment, hospital supplies and medicines.

Ports Visited

Over 19 years, the Good Samaritan /Island Mercy sailed to over 109 ports and conducted medical missions in 88 port visits to 24 developing nations from South America to the South Pacific.


As the Good Samaritan, she carried cargo and personnel to the Pan-American games for the U.S. Olympic committee in 1991, and became the first ship to legally sail from the United States to Cuba in 30 years. To her crew she was affectionately known as the “Little Giant”.


Length: 52.7
Breadth: 11.6m
Gross Tonnage: 998
Built: 1961 Canada
Registered: Panama
Crew Capacity: 80
Cargo Capacity: 359m3
Main Engine: 2 Crossley diesel (1,100 BHP each)
Draft: 3.8m
Surveyed By: Lloyds