The SEA Spirit Foundation is a nonprofit corporation formed under the DC Nonprofit Act for charitable and educational purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) and an approved non-profit organization under the IRC.

The Foundation has a five-member Board of Directors and plans for a Board of Advisors, including eminent individuals of experience in medicine, academia, international affairs, law, business, government, and military and naval operations.

Vision and Mission

SEA Spirit Foundation proposes to acquire and station a U.S.-flagged hospital ship full time in the ASEAN region where it will offer state-of-the-art medical and disaster preparedness training, and disaster relief, to the nearly 650 million people in the 10 ASEAN nations.

  • A teaching hospital to supplement ASEAN medical training through education and exchange programs with professional counterparts from all 10 ASEAN nations, focused on disaster medicine, pediatrics, and women's health.

  • A disaster relief capability that can respond immediately to natural disasters in Southeast Asia, providing a regionally-known hub for ensuing relief efforts and facilitating the development of ASEAN’s intrinsic disaster relief capability through education and training on disaster preparedness, response and relief.

The Need

The ASEAN region, with nearly 650 million people, suffers disproportionately from natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms, and emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Although home to just 8.5 percent of global population, since 2003 the ASEAN countries account for about 28 percent of the worldwide fatalities due to natural disasters.

Common issues and needs in many ASEAN nations, especially in rural areas and secondary cities:

  • Expansion of high-quality medical education opportunities for local practitioners

  • Health care delivery capacity  for children and women

  • Slow disaster response times in the most disaster-prone region in the world

  • Needed expansion of ASEAN practitioners trained specifically in medical disaster relief efforts

  • A systematic and predictable platform for companies, NGOs, and governments to provide disaster relief in a timely and efficient way.


  • Improve the quality of life and health for the people of Southeast Asia

  • Improve organic disaster response capability within the Asia-Pacific

  • Engage Pacific rim nations in collaborative efforts to improve health education and disaster response among ASEAN nations.

Timeline & Resources

The non-profit Foundation intends to take possession of a ship as early as 2018, perform upgrades and re-fits during CY 2018-2019, and become fully operational during CY 2020.

During CY 2017 to 2020 the Foundation will raise funds to initially outfit and then sustain an annual operating budget of $80 MM from:

  • ASEAN country governments

  • Private Sector Companies and Private Foundations

  • U.S. and other governments aid agencies

  • Multi-national entities (e.g., World Bank, IMF, ADB, etc.)

The Foundation expects to form partnerships with top academic and medical schools in the U.S. and Asia, and military health institutions, for both full time professional and volunteer medical staff.

Expected Enhancements to Ship

The Sea Spirit Foundation anticipates certain re-fits to prepare the vessel for its mission, including:

  • Pediatric and infant beds

  • Water bottling and ice bagging capability

  • Expanded classroom facilities

  • Tele-medicine capability

  • Create communication Center for Disaster Response

  • Configure housing for students and faculty

  • Improve Doppler capability

  • Capability for drone use post-disaster

  • Explore use of portable cellular towers to re-establish communications during disasters

  • Kennels for search dogs