Superyacht News: Presidential Yacht, BRP Ang Pangulo, transformed into a floating quarantine facility
The Philippines’ presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo (ACS-25) has undergone a major transformation into a floating hospital boat and is ready to accept coronavirus patients onboard.
An order from the Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, for the Navy to convert the vessel was issued to turn the luxury yacht into a hospital ship. Currently docked in Davao City, the yacht is now able to accommodate COVID-19 patients under quarantine conditions.
The decision by the President to convert his yacht follows a move by the government to convert several large stadiums and convention halls across Metro Manila and northern Luzon into quarantine facilities to help ease the burden on the country’s hospitals that are being overwhelmed with virus patients.
More superyacht news: With a capacity to hold up to 28 COVID-19 patients along with a support team of five medical personnel, the BRP Ang Pangulo has been fitted out with hospital beds that maintain a healthy 3-meter distance between each other and have strict entry point control to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Although the highest care has been taken with the remodelling, nothing has been structurally changed onboard the yacht. Three separate VIP compartments have been created into hospital wards and treatment rooms by Navy personnel with temporary dividing walls in place to help contain the patients.
The Navy was very quick off the mark with the remodelling work, with action being taken within just 48 hours of the order being issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.
While there is space for 28 coronavirus patients and a 5-person medical support team, the superyacht’s crew will remain on board to keep the yacht operational, but the crew will be completely sealed off from the patients and medical staff.
The yacht staff have been provided with PPE and have all had antibody tests conducted.
Interestingly, the president had planned to sell the yacht in 2016. His idea was to sell the yacht and donate the proceeds to war veterans and to help improve hospital facilities. However, because of the laws around disposing of government assets, the president decided to instead transform the yacht into a hospital ship to help conflict-hit areas.
The yacht is currently docked at the Naval Station Jose V. Andrada in Manila, where the remodelling work has been taking place. The planned remodelling work cleverly included a unique entry/exit point system where medical staff and patients have been given separate access points from the yacht’s crew and navy personnel that remain aboard and completely sealed off from hospital treatment areas of the yacht.
Originally, the BRP Ang Pangulo was acquired by the Philippine government in 1959 for presidential use, the yacht was used as its flagship until December 1961.
Built by the Japanese yacht-building company Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, as part of the war reparations to the Philippines, the yacht is 77 m 254 (ft) in length and can accommodate up to 44 passengers and 81 crew members, under normal circumstances.
The superyacht was one of 15 vessels gifted by the Government of Japan as part of war reparations to the Republic of the Philippines. It was built at the Ishikawajima Dry-Docks in Tokyo.
Whether or not the superyacht will ever return to its original status as a luxury yacht used by the rich and famous will remain a mystery, but its current use as a floating hospital ship will certainly add to its colourful history, prestige and reputation.Why not visit our Mega Yachts Fan blog section for more interesting articles and features about your favourite superyachts and their activities.