A new exhibit at the Naval Museum in Gdynia
The 1931 “Samarytanka” motorboat, which until now has been on display at the Czechosłowacka roundabout, has been transported to the open-air exhibition area of the Naval Museum in Gdynia. It was the first vessel designed and built at the Gdynia Shipyard.
Until now the motorboat stood in front of the former Gdynia Shipyard Management Board office building located at the Czechosłowacka roundabout. At night, on 26 October, it was transported to the Naval Museum, where it will enrich the museum’s collection.
The water ambulance motorboat “Samarytanka” is a steel, full-deck vessel with an overall length of up to 15 metres and a width of 3.8 metres. It was the first vessel designed and built at the Gdynia Shipyard. It was commissioned by the Maritime Office, for use by the port doctor, who was to transport patients from ships to the special quarantine hospital in Babie Doły.
“Samarytanka” was launched on 17 September 1931, but only delivered to the ordering party in 1933 due to engine problems. As the staff at the Naval Museum points out, the vessel had many shortcomings, such as being slow and poorly manoeuvrable, and the layout of the interior made the work of the paramedics difficult. For this reason, the port doctor soon decided against using it, and the motorboat was transferred to the Harbour Master’s Office, where it served as a pilot service vessel until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
During the war the Germans changed the name of the vessel to “Stegen” and used her mainly for work in the harbour, upgrading her and replacing the engine. At the end of the war, however, she was found abandoned, without an engine, and only years later, in 1971, did she find her way to the Gdynia Shipyard, where she received an overhaul. Subsequently, she was placed in front of the office building currently owned by the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone. The current owner has decided to hand her over to the Naval Museum, where she will be part of an outdoor exhibition.
photo: Kamil Złoch, gdynia.pl