The Royal Navy engineer who lost eight relatives to Ebola

Sailing into the unknown?

Royal Navy sailor Christian Blango has embarked on a selfless mission to help Ebola victims in West Africa just weeks after eight members of his family were killed and another six infected by the virus.

Surely the Navy could reassign him elsewhere?

The 28-year-old naval engineer, who lives in south London, was reportedly offered compassionate leave after he received news that the virus had spread through his family’s village in Sierra Leone.

But Blango, who is aboard the hospital ship RFA Argus as part of Britain’s Ebola task force, said the tragedy that had befallen his family had reinforced his desire to help those affected and combat the virus.

“This is personal now, and the deaths in my family have made me even more determined to help people suffering with Ebola,” he said. “I am proud to do my part and to contribute to the vital humanitarian work.”

What will his duties involve?

Argus is carrying troops and supplies to Sierra Leone where about 750 staff will provide medical care for up to 8,800 Ebola patients over a six-month period.

Blango, who has an engineering degree from the University of Greenwich, will service and maintain three Merlin helicopters which will deliver food and medical supplies to remote parts of the country. The ship arrives in Freetown this week.

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