On Saturday, July 30, before 7 a.m., Stena Baltica, the Stena Line ferry running on Gdynia-Karlskrona connection, hit the breakwater during entering the port of Gdynia at the main entrance breakwater Southern head. Quite far from the breakwater head (some 50-80 m), so the course distortion was quite significant.
At that time there was a short heavy storrm over Gdynia and sudden, strong wind gust is reportedly the cause of the ship going off the proper course according to official information.
However workers upgrading quay, nearby the breakwater, closest external witnesses of the accident, are insisting there was not any particular strong gust at that time in the area.
The entrance (between breakwaters heads) is rather wide, and the twin screw, twin rudder ferry has two bow thrusters and one stern thruster. It is not known why it was not possible to counteract the gust and get the ship back on safe course.
As a result of the contact with breakwater the bulbous bow was pressed in at very front and the bulb probably slightly twisted / skewed[removed] to the right and probably also slightly upright as crippled shell plates on starboard roughly in the region of virtual structural joint between the hull and bulb indicate.
There was also minor damage / deformation to ship's stem and bow doors. The ferry pushed down a few meters of a kind of concrete bulwark or breakwater extension standing on top of the breakwater caisson boxes.
It is not known, whether there was also a puncture resulting in water ingress to bulbous bow or forepeak tank.
On Sunday evening Stena Baltica was seen with slight trim to stern (with bow slightly upward) - probably to facilitate inspection and repair works.
The crippled shell steel sheets were painted over.
The extend of temporary repairs is not known. However in official sorces usage of cement for repairs is mentioned, so probablythere must have been some puncture.
However, so far, there were only temporary repairs possible.
The replacement of the whole bulb or most of its structure needs docking, which, according to first unnoficial estimates is planned for September.
According to official statement on Stena Line Poland's website seen on Sunday afternoon, the "removal of the fault" [or fixing the fault] should have been completed by Sunday, 8 p.m.
And indeed the ferry departed that evening / night.
When she returned the next evening to Gdynia, she was seen entering the port with one tug assist (without towing rope used) - an unusual sight with regular ferry in this port.
EARLIER report / additional information
It will prove realistic and the ship will not have to be sent to dock earlier, if the fault and shape distortion of the bulbous bow will not adversely affect the maneuverability, course stability too much and if it will not cause too much drag affecting fual consumption - these my speculations.
Temporary repairs in the port of Gdynia were performed under supervision of DNV.
The reshaping the bulb and structural region of the bulb MIGHT have probably affected also some part of bow opening (for example, presumably, the proper fitting of bow doors in closed position) as there were observed on Sunday afternoon, some welding OR gas cutting works in the region of bow opening (inside), as at the bow doors almost closed there were welding sparks seen going through gaps from the inside of the almost closed bow doors.
Meanwhile stranded passengers (also in personal cars) and trucks were waiting at the terminal in Gdynia.
Passengers that were booked for yesterday's morning departure from Gdynia were provided with emergency hotel accommodation by Stena.
According to Stena's official statement all Stena Baltica's trips will be delayed in the period July 31 - August 5. The company opted for gradually reducing delay rather than declaring one of departures cancelled as there is a high season now on the routes between Poland and Sweden.
The other ferry serving the route - Stena Nordica runs roughly uninterrupted, with delays possible up to about one hour, due to necessity to move Stena Baltica to other mooring berth for the time of arrival of Nordica to Gdynia.
The bulb was all new, replaced during recent refit / conversion of Stena Baltica at "Remontowa" shiprepair yard, Gdansk.