The operation of towing the ORP Sokół submarine from the shipyard to the premises of the Naval Museum in Gdynia. The ship will end its journey as an exhibit early next week.
The operation to tow the submarine was announced by deputy director Aleksander Gosk. As he explained, the ship had been prepared for three years at the naval shipyard to become a museum exhibit.
ORP Sokół set off on Friday from the PGZ Shipyard in Gdynia and was transported by water on a special pontoon to the Pomeranian Quay, in the Presidential Pool at Kościuszko Square. – The distance between the port and the quay is about two nautical miles, or about 3.5 kilometers. The operation will last about an hour, Gosk explained before starting the operation.
The ship together with the “transport equipment” weighs approx. 360-370 tons, its length is approx. 47.4 meters, the width at the widest point is 4.60 m (but the temporary transport frame is approx. 8 m).
Gosk explained that the space at the President’s Wharf became available on Thursday, after The Navy towed ORP Błyskawica from this place to the port.
– Two pushers will be used to transport the submarine from the shipyard. This task is performed by a company that has experience in this type of operations, said the deputy director of the museum.
The ship will go to the museum on Monday or Tuesday
After towing it to the quay, “Sokół” will be prepared for two days – Saturday and Sunday – for the next part of the operation, pulling it ashore and transporting it to the Naval Museum in Gdynia.
– I think this will be the biggest attraction for residents and tourists. The ship will be moored to the quay on a special pontoon. Work will continue for two days to secure the unit for transfer to land. Special self-supporting trolleys will have to enter and will be used to transport the submarine – explained Gosk.
According to him, if everything is carried out according to schedule, on Monday or Tuesday, the submarine will be transported through the city streets to the museum grounds, which is about a kilometer.
Traffic disruptions are expected during this time. Part of the avenue will be closed John Paul II (both roadways); The pedestrian and bicycle path along Aleja Lipowa and the pedestrian and bicycle path along Nadmorski Boulevard will be closed to traffic 24 hours a day.
After reaching the destination, the ship will be placed on a prepared basin in front of the museum. – Once we arrive, we will start equipping its interior. We will install security measures and prepare a sightseeing path, said a representative of the Naval Museum.
Three years of work
The Naval Museum in Gdynia took over the ship in July 2020, and since then, work has been carried out at the PGZ Naval Shipyard – cleaning and preserving the hull, cutting out the entrance and exit for visitors, painting the hull.
– Knowing that the submarines would be leaving service, we started efforts at the Ministry of National Defense to acquire one of them. We didn’t want the object to go to the steelworks and be cut into pieces – explained Gosk.
During the work at the shipyard, the following items were removed: one of the engines was included in the museum’s exhibition, and a door was cut out to make it easier for visitors to enter the ship. Gosk explained that without it, visitors would have difficulty entering through the upper hatch.
The open-air exhibition of the submarine will be a kind of monument commemorating thousands of Polish sailors performing this elite service.
It will not only tell the story of a specific ship, but will also become a kind of memorial dedicated to all 25 Polish submarines and their crews, with particular emphasis on the achievements of Polish submariners in the fight against Germany and Italy during World War II.
According to the museum’s deputy director, the new exhibit will be ready for viewing next year.
Main photo source: TVN24