Medical Aid Ship Aided by Management System Gift

The crew of the medical aid ship YWAM Koha are now able to sail around the Pacific assisted by the latest generation maintenance management system thanks to the benevolence of a Kiwi maintenance management company.

The YWAM Koha was built in 1968 as a buoy tender for the German Government, responsible for the maintenance of marine navigation buoys on the River Elbe before seeing service for the South African Maritime Safety Authority. From 2009 to 2018, she plied the Pacific Islands as the Claymore, providing the essential transport links to Pitcairn Island from New Zealand and French Polynesia.

Youth With A Mission

Donated to the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) program by Stoney Creek Shipping company’s Nigel Jolly, the YWAM Koha now distributes medical care to those in need across the Pacific. The ship has the capacity to carry containers, supplies, crew and volunteers to assist with everything from education to medical and developmental projects. Shipping containers converted into medical and dental clinics are stowed on the Koha’s deck, providing operating theatres and X-ray units, among other functions. However, most of the work the organisation does is in the villages themselves. The ship anchors close to shore, providing primary health care, preventative medicine such as vaccinations, oral health checks and eye examinations to remote communities.

The Pacific Islands are one of the most geographically challenging islands on planet Earth with many villages located on the more isolated outer islands and desperately in need of New Zealand’s help. The vast majority have no airstrips and no bridges connecting them, so the only way to reach them is via ship.

Solving a Problem

Staffed entirely by volunteers, a major operational issue for the ship is retaining the detailed institutionalised knowledge required to keep her in good trim and compliant with marine requirements. Historical information was either paper based or stored in people’s heads. Now, the information is digitised into an upwardly driven management information system and available onboard or ashore for future crews thanks to Maintenance Transformation’s Craig Carlyle and the MainTrak maintenance management system.

Answering a call from ABD Groups’ John Clynes, Carlyle not only provided the MainTrak system free of charge, but even mapped the ships assets while she was docked in Tauranga, while Clynes conducted a stocktake of the spares inventory. The ship now has a complete maintenance management system, able to manage its maintenance schedule, technical documentation and spares as well as storing its intellectual knowledge, ready for any future engineers to tap into.

The system is Cloud based, with full Starlink coverage across the Pacific meaning that YWAM Technical director Tony Fish can stay in touch from around the Globe and ensure any replacement parts are ready and waiting anywhere the ship docks.

For Carlyle, mapping the assets was a labour of love, relishing the opportunity to roll up his sleeves and crawl all over the ship. He found the ship well cared for and pleasingly clean. In his words. “This ship reverberates history and engineering experience. Sadly, most of that learning has walked off the gangplank since 1968, but now we have a method to retain it in the Engine Room for future generations.”

Nigel and Brenda Jolly said their decision to donate the vessel to YWAM was out of a desire to see the boat looked after and do something they can be proud of. The MainTrak maintenance management system has provided the crew with the tool to do just that.