A Captain's Viewpoint
Submitted by Mercyships on Thu, 03/24/2011 - 16:46.
Captain Tim Tretheway
For two decades, Captain Tim Tretheway has served with Mercy Ships, using his marine skills and passion for the sea to bring hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor.
Tretheway joined Mercy Ships after the Anastasis, formerly a vessel in the Mercy Ships fleet, visited his country in 1987. Inspired by the vision and transforming work occurring onboard, he quickly joined the Anastasis crew as an Able Seaman.
Tretheway worked on four Mercy Ships vessels: the Good Samaritan, the Caribbean Mercy, the Anastasis, and the Africa Mercy, where he has been the ship's Master since 2008.
Throughout his 22-year career with Mercy Ships, he has served onboard for field services in Central America, South America, and Western and Southern Africa. When asked about his volunteer work aboard the ship, Tim replied, “This work has made me realise that I don't have to be a surgeon to have an effect on the world."
Serving with Mercy Ships is a unique and fulfilling way for maritime professionals to use their skills. “I would have never dreamed I’d be the captain of the world’s largest hospital ship,” said Tretheway. “I spoke to a maritime marine officer when I was young, who thoroughly discouraged me from any maritime career, saying there was no future or hope in maritime work. It kept me from pursuing a maritime career for several years, but I’m grateful God brought me back around to it. Being the captain on this ship is an amazing, almost overpowering, privilege,”
“I enjoy the diversity we have. We have a culture of safety, and we stay plenty busy in port. We will still be spinning up the radar, doing compass checks and keeping our charts updated. It's an adjustment for some, but why not savour that a little?" Tretheway concluded.
In March 2005, Tretheway married his wife, Sharon, whom he met while serving onboard the Anastasis. He and Sharon have a two-year-old son, Nathanael.
The Africa Mercy is a fully-certified, ocean-going, passenger-classed vessel which meets all required International Regulations. Her volunteer crew comes from over 40 countries. Onboard are many opportunities for maritime professionals, like Tretheway, interested in using their skills to help others.