In a grand ceremony held in the coastal city of Gdańsk, Parliamentary Speaker Elżbieta Witek was bestowed the honor of being the ‘Godmother’ of Poland’s newest Border Guard patrol boat. The SG-301 vessel, named ‘Gen. Józef Haller’ after a revered Polish general, was unveiled during a special ‘Christening and flag raising’ event. This state-of-the-art craft, worth nearly PLN 111 million (EUR 24.47 million), signifies a significant milestone in Poland’s maritime defense capabilities.
Expressing her immense pride, Witek remarked, “For me, it is an exceptional day, an extraordinary moment, a huge honor, and a huge distinction that I can be among the women who are Godmothers of ships, especially as this vessel will serve the Polish state and our security.”
The SG-301, crafted by the renowned French shipyard Socarenam, stands as the epitome of modern maritime technology in the Baltic Sea. Measuring 70 meters in length, the vessel is equipped to undertake a variety of crucial tasks, including safeguarding both Polish and external EU sea borders and conducting anti-smuggling operations. Notably, the boat has the capacity to remain at sea for a minimum of 12 days and can accommodate up to 250 shipwreck survivors.
Speaking about the vessel’s capabilities, Witek emphasized its vital role in enhancing maritime security. She highlighted that the SG-301 would play a pivotal role in guarding the Polish and EU sea borders, ensuring safety in the region.
Furthermore, the vessel’s significance is underscored by its namesake, Gen. Józef Haller, who symbolically ‘married’ Poland to the sea in 1920, signifying the nation’s renewed access to the Baltic. This historic reference adds depth to the SG-301’s role as a guardian of Polish waters.
It is worth noting that 90% of the vessel’s cost was covered by the European Union, showcasing the collaborative efforts aimed at fortifying maritime security within the EU member states. The event marks a momentous occasion in Poland’s naval history, ushering in a new era of advanced maritime defense.