History of the ship
"Sołdek" is the first ocean-going vessel put into operation in the history of the Polish shipyard industry. She was designed by a team of Polish engineers under the leadership of Henryk Giełdzik, M.Sc. Eng. and built in Gdańsk Shipyard, established on 19 October 1947.
The prototype coal-ore carrier’s B-30 type keel-laying ceremony took place on 3 April 1948 on slipway A2. The official speeches were followed by consecration of the building site performed by the parish priest of St. Jacob’s parish and then the first rivet was hammered into the structural elements by Adam Rapacki – then the Minister of Shipping. During one working week an average of 45 tons of vessel steel elements were mounted. Around 300 thousand rivets were used to construct the coal-ore carrier while their weight amounted to about 6% of the whole hull weight. The vessel was launched on 6 November 1948. In accordance with former decisions the vessel was to bear the name of a "shock worker", namely the tracer Stanisław Sołdek, and his wife Helena was the vessel’s godmother. On 21 October 1949 "Sołdek", under the command of Master Mariner Zbigniew Rybiański, set off on her first voyage for Szczecin, where the formal ceremony of hoisting colours took place on 25 October 1949. By 2 January 1981 "Sołdek" had made 1479 voyages. Within 31 years of operation the vessel carried over 3,5 million tons of cargo and called at more than 60 harbours.