Hospital boat designed by Marino Alfani could rescue victims of natural disasters

The doctor will sea you now: Hospital boat could rescue victims of natural disasters

We've all heard of the flying doctors – now we could soon have the floating doctors thanks to a hospital boat developed by an Italian yacht designer.

Marino Alfani, 29, came up with the concept after talking to his childhood friend Dr Taddeo Baino, who had just returned from a medical mission in Africa.

The hospital boat would be able to come close in to shore and ferry passengers to it by ambulance and helicopter

The hospital boat would be able to come close in to shore and ferry passengers to it by ambulance and helicopter

This cutaway graphic shows how the rooms would be laid out

This cutaway graphic shows how the rooms would be laid out

Mr Alfani realised that a hospital boat could treat people from coastal areas that have no or ill-equipped hospitals and could also respond to emergencies at sea like the recent Costa Concordia wreck. It could also provide relief to victims of natural disasters like the 2004 tsunami, which wiped out whole road networks.

So he designed a catamaran that would be equipped with state-of-the-art medical examination areas, operating theatres, laboratories, recovery rooms and a hyperbaric chamber (for oxygen therapy). There would be a small helipad on the bridge and a garage accessible from the stern to store an ambulance.

The boat would accommodate three crew members and nine doctors and nurses and could treat 50 people a day – which would be 1,500 a month. As a catamaran it could come close in to shore.

Ship-shape: The catamaran would accommodate three cabin crew and nine doctors and nurses

Ship-shape: The catamaran would accommodate three cabin crew and nine doctors and nurses

Specifications: The boat would measure 115ft in length

Specifications: The boat would measure 115ft in length

Speaking to L'Eco Di Bergamo, Mr Alfani said: 'The earth is surrounded by water and it is unthinkable that there is no tool that allows immediate first aid at sea.'

He added that the boat was modeled on the emergency room of the Bergamo Hospital in Italy.

The boat, made from aluminium alloy would measure 115ft long, 48ft wide and stand 25ft tall. It would be propelled by two 1200 diesel electric motors and travel at a top speed of 10knots. The boat would have a fuel capacity of 50,000l.

Mr Alfani has an architecture degree from the Politecnico di Milano as well as a Masters in Yacht Design and now has his own studio where he can tackle boat design to construction. He is also an experienced interior designer.

The hospital boat concept won a prize this month at the 2012 Millennium Yacht Design Awards.

Emergency: The catamaran could respond to natural disasters

Emergency: The catamaran could respond to natural disasters

On the open sea: The boat would travel at 10knots

On the open sea: The boat would travel at 10knots