History 27/12/19 “the miracle of the ocean”: how the Americans saved four Soviet soldiers

The worst thing for a sailor to be in the open ocean without water, food and fuel for the vessel. And if in the middle ages, was in a difficult position of conquerors of the seas, could save the rising wind, today they have to rely only on a passing ship. It is difficult to imagine what could happen with four Soviet soldiers, trapped in the role of Robinson, if not for the us aircraft carrier happened to be passing by.

Natural disaster

Began this amazing story in the early morning of January 17, 1960. In the sea near the island of Iturup of the Kuril ridge was played usually in these places violent storm. The disaster was so powerful that standing near the pier tank landing barge “T-36” with four soldiers on Board took off from the shore and swept into the open ocean. The victims were: Askhat Ziganshin, Philip Poplavsky, Anatoly Kryuchkovsky and Ivan Fedotov. All the soldiers were from 20 to 21 years old. To honor soldiers, it should be noted that, despite their young age, they did not despair and bravely tried to fight the elements. Once at sea, the soldiers attempted to start the engine and back to the pier. However, the storm was so strong that, despite all efforts, the barge carried farther and farther from shore. When to cope with elements using motors failed, the victims tried to send the barge on the rocks that got stuck in them, to wait for help approach. Alas, this maneuver also failed. The ship only got dents and strong flow. Meanwhile, the waves reached 15 meters, the station ruined, washed away from the deck iron drinking pot, and rapidly took the barge in the open ocean. However, the “T-36” is still intended for the transportation of tanks and had good resistance to water. When the storm abated, the soldiers were assured that they soon will find. There it was. For the missing soldiers were, indeed, sent the rescue team. But as soon as the sailors reached the cliffs that the soldiers wanted to catch as found on the water torn by the waves drinking tank and other household items. Rescuers decided that the soldiers were killed and the ship sank.


Meanwhile, victims of the storm were alive, making a forced ocean cruise to the South-East of the Kuril Islands. Food-wise, was the unfortunate pot of stew, a little pearl barley, a sack of potatoes and issued to them on the eve of guard rations. Since it was not known when salvation will come, and whether this can happen, the soldiers divided the food in meager portions, and prepared for the long voyage. Day they scooped the water from the hold, and fished. Night looked at the sea, hoping to see saving lights, the passing ship. But all was in vain. Days turned into weeks, and the single sailed. Approaching the end of the water intended for cooling of diesel engines, which for lack of a drank displaced travelers. Food also was running out. In particular the discouragement of the soldiers brought the newspaper “Red star”, accidentally discovered on the barge. It was reported that the USSR plans to conduct missile firings in that area of the Pacific ocean, where drifting barge. It was clear that the court will bypass the section of the ocean and soon to wait for rescue is not necessary. On February 23 ran out of food at all. The kids have already prepared to die like two weeks later of starvation, on March 7 they heard the propellers of the helicopter. Robinson Crusoe conscripts lasted 49 days.

the Salvation

I Found grief travelers helicopter pilots of the U.S. aircraft carrier “Kearsarge.” During a training flight, the Americans saw in the ocean a strange barge with Soviet markings on the Board. From the air it was evident that on the ship there are people, however, it was not clear if they’re still alive. Do by this point from exhaustion, the soldiers could no longer walk. Accidents great care was taken to aircraft carrier, was given first aid and fed. Rescued sailors were taken to San Francisco, where the press conference they spoke about the difficulties that they had experienced while traveling in the open ocean. Welcome soldiers were given a warm. The rescued soldiers were given one hundred dollars, were brought on a tour to new York and then sent home. The Soviet soldiers were awarded orders of the red Star, after which he returned to serve in the native part.

© Russian Seven

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