ORP Sokół – from Submarine to Museum Exhibit
ORP Sokół is a Kobben-class submarine that served in the Polish Navy from 2002 to 2018. Built in Germany in 1966, it initially belonged to Norway, which later transferred it to Poland as part of a submarine fleet modernization program. The submarine participated in various missions within the NATO North Atlantic Alliance and stood out as one of the most modern and effective submarines in the Polish fleet.
After being decommissioned, ORP Sokół was handed over to the Polish Navy Museum in Gdynia, where it is intended to be open for public viewing as an outdoor exhibit.
One of the major challenges is transporting the submarine from Oksywie to the center of Gdynia, where it is planned to be displayed at a specially prepared site next to the museum building. This transport was initially scheduled for 2022, but due to financing issues, it has been delayed. As of today, November 18, 2023, the first phase of the transport has been completed, involving loading the submarine onto a pontoon.
Using specialized lifting equipment, the submarine was raised from the water and placed on a pontoon, which then sailed towards the southern pier. There, the submarine was transferred onto a truck with a trailer that will transport it to its final destination. The entire operation is expected to take several days and requires precision and caution.
The submarine “Sokół” has concluded its maritime journey and is now positioned at the South Pier, where it will be prepared over the weekend for the transfer onto land and relocation to its final place along the Seaside Boulevard.
ORP Sokół is ready for visitors to explore and witness the life and work of sailors on board. The submarine also serves as a carrier of the traditions of all Polish submarines, showcasing their history and achievements. On board, there are items such as the escape apparatus from ORP Jastrząb, a sister ship to Sokół, as well as memorabilia from other units.
ORP Sokół is not just a submarine; it is also a symbol of the Polish Navy and its contribution to the country’s security and defense. Its transfer to the museum in Gdynia is not only a spectacular event but also an important step in commemorating and popularizing this part of our history.