Watch The Surgery Ship, 8-part series

One Ship. Thousands of people suffering from life-threatening conditions, and a team of volunteer medics making life and death decisions.

A unique hospital ship offering lifesaving surgery sets sail to help Africa’s under-served poor. The crew have just ten months to do the impossible – to provide the surgical care people cannot get any other way. On board are a volunteer crew including doctors and nurses – headed straight for the biggest medical challenges of their lives. Ahead lie unbelievable illnesses, many the medics have never seen outside of textbooks. A dramatic journey is underway as they deal with life and death cases, and balance the future of patients in their hands.

Series Trailer: 

When to watch

The series starts week commencing 3rd October through to week of 21st November 

Thursday nights 7:30 – 8:30PM (Main Program), starting 7th October, then
Fridays 7:30 – 8:30AM starting 8th October, and
Sundays 12:30 – 1:30PM starting 10th October (Encores) 

Series airs on National Geographic Channel – Sky 072. 1 Episode per week for 8 weeks .


Learn more about the patients whose lives were changed, and the volunteers making a world of difference on board The Surgery Ship

The Power of Yes and No

Skin Deep

Sea Change 

Gods and Monsters 

Blood and Water

The Long Road Home

On the Frontline

Taking The Helm


The Surgery Ship is a story about the intense dilemmas faced by individual medics as they decide who they will help and who they will turn away, knowing that there is nowhere else for people to go. Despite these complicated issues, The Surgery Ship is also a story about the everyday heroism of both patients and the volunteers, and the human drive to rise above circumstances, to survive, and give the best of ourselves – even when there seems to be no end in sight.


Be part of the Mercy Ships story – by becoming a volunteer or donating today.