“Samaritanka” – the first unit built at the Gdynia Shipyard

The motorboat ‘Samaritanka’ previously adorned the Czechoslovak roundabout. Now the vessel has become part of the Naval Museum’s open-air exhibition

The Gdynia Shipyard was opened in 1922. At the time, it was to be the flywheel of the Polish economy. The first vessel to be designed by shipyard workers and subsequently built was the steel motorboat “Samarytanka”

“Samarytanka” is 15 metres long and 3.8 metres wide. The vessel was built at the request of the Maritime Office and resulted from the need for a motorboat for use by the harbour doctor, who transported patients from ships to the hospital at Babie Doły

The historic motorboat has been carefully restored. On Thursday 17 August, the unit held a ceremony during which the museum flag and the Maritime Office flag were symbolically raised on the ‘Samaritanka’

“Samarytanka” – the first ship built in the Gdynia shipyard. Early 1930s, a sanitary ship. Increasing port traffic, a city under construction – all this required protection against epidemics, against infectious diseases. Hence the “Samaritanka”, which transported crew members or passengers from ships standing in the roadstead who were suspected of being infectiously ill to the hospital in Babi Dole. A ship perhaps not entirely successful. But it is a child, the first child. This boat had its episode during the Second World War. In August ’39 it was mobilised. She did not fight, because she had neither the means nor the means, but she transported patients and probably some cargo. Today, she has been beautifully restored, all the wooden parts are new. The flag and the flag of the Maritime Office have been raised. We are very happy about this. She has already become a permanent part of Gdynia’s museum landscape,” says Tomasz Miegoń, director of the Naval Museum

Launching of the “Samaritan”, archive photo, source: MMW

As we learn from a communiqué published on the Gdynia.pl website, the vessel had many flaws, was slow and not very manoeuvrable. The layout of the rooms was also perceived negatively, making the work of the orderlies difficult. As a result, back in the 1930s the harbour doctor resigned from its use and the motorboat was transferred to the Harbour Master’s Office. During the Second World War, the Germans renamed the vessel ‘Stegen’ and used her mainly for harbour work, upgrading her and replacing the engine. At the end of the war, the vessel was found abandoned and without an engine. It was not until 1971 that the ‘Samarytanka’ was taken to the Gdynia Shipyard, where it was refurbished

Today, the unit is placed in front of the Naval Museum and neighbours the pursuit cutter “Batory”

photo: Karolina Szypelt

source: UM Gdynia

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