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Sinking of Mikhail Lermontov

This life buoy and life jacket from our collection were recovered from the sunk Russian cruise liner MS Mikhail Leromontov.

The ship collided with rocks near Port Gore in the Marlborough Sounds on the evening of 16th February 1986. She carried 372 passengers and 348 crew.

The ship was badly torn on her port side with three gashes totalling almost 25m in length. Dozens of vessels came to her aid to help evacuate those on board. One fatality of a crew member occurred.

By 10.30pm, approximately five hours after running aground, Mikhail Lermontov sunk completely beneath the surface.

Naval vessels and personnel were involved with the rescue and salvage efforts of the ship. The life buoy was recovered by naval divers and it was kept at the Dive School before being donated to the museum.

The ship still rests where she sank and remains a popular dive site for scuba divers as an easily accessible ship wreck.

– Hannah Pym, Collections Assistant

Life Buoy 2018.242.2
Life Jacket 2012.65.1

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