Forty-nine days in the open ocean.
People and ocean.

     



The four brave people in the open ocean
Without food and fresh water in the open ocean

 
 Without food and fresh water in the open ocean
  Four soldiers and four friends met the morning of January 17  
  on-board self-propelled barge T-36.
  A stony shallow waters is not allowed to deliver goods directly to shore,
   and T-P6 served as for cargo ships peculiar floating pier function.  
   Barge hundred tons displacement had a waterline length of 17 meters,  
   its width was only three and a half meters,   
  and sludge - a little more than one meter.  
   With these dimensions plus the maximum speed of 9 knots,   
  T-36 could afford to move away from the shore no more 200-300 meters.   
  As she looked, this barge is the T-36, you can imagine   
  a photograph of her exact model.
 

 
 


 

  They were not guards, these guys.  
   Nor were they and seamen.   
  They were not related to the fleet, they were not sailors.  
  - they have served in the construction battalion   
  and engaged in loading and unloading operations:  
  They took loads on a barge and transported them to the shore.
  Or vice versa.   
  Just 17 January was to come the next cargo ship   
  and all four led by junior sergeant Ziganshin went on a barge   
 - Directly from a bathhouse.   
 Even managed to get to shore monetary contentment,   
  but they receive food rations have not had time.   
 Kryuchkovsky   
  Soldier Anatoly Kryuchkovsky   
  By nightfall, the storm began
 In fact, to the windswept Bay stormy weather  
  It was not something unusual, but the storm turned out to be particularly strong.  
  As later recalled, many years later,  
  Anatoly Fedorovich Kryuchkovsky, "a huge wave rose up in seconds,  
  our barge blown off from the mooring mast  
  and let's throw our barge in the bay, like a chip. "   
  Fearing that the barge cast on the stones,   
  they launched two diesel engine T-36 and tried to resist   
  squally wind and a lot of meter waves.   
  They fought until they ran out of fuel.   
  They did not break on the rocks. although the hole barge still won.   
  The barge not broken on the rocks. , no. They just issued in the ocean ...
 Of course, them began to looking for.  
  could not fail to look for.  
  When the weather conditions allow.   
  But hardly are searching for different special urgency:   
 there is little doubt that a small barge
 Project T-36 is capable of withstanding ocean storm has failed.   
  In addition, during that storm thrown overboard a large chest with coal,   
  and then found on the shores of its fragments like   
  consistent with the version of the death of a barge T-36 together with the people
  Fedotov   
  Soldier Ivan Fedotov  
   ... About all the details of what happened, what, why and how,  
   We are now already difficult to judge.   
  In any case, the fact remains:   
  January storm that raged for several days,   
  I drove the barge in the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean   
  - Barge did not ocean-going, unmanaged and is not self-propelled,   
  pretty tattered, devoid of radio, de-energized,   
  with hastily clamped a hole in the bottom.
  Later, it turns out,   
  that a small ship about four people on board  
  It was picked up by powerful ocean currents,  
   Japanese fishermen who gave the name "for death."
  Every hour, every minute barge T-36   
  farther and farther. ocean current carries them away from their native shores.   
  And another fatal accident, which quadruple learned almost immediately,   
  found in the cockpit of the newspaper "Red Star":   
  in the article it was reported that,   
  that just training missile launches will take place in this part of the ocean,   
  in connection with which the entire area has been declared dangerous to navigation.

  This meant that already in the near time they did not have  
   even ghostly chance to meet any vessel ...   
  Poplavsky  
   Soldier Philip Poplavsky   
  Ocean currents carried the barge T-36 in the direction of Hawaii.   
  In principle, it is hope for salvation would be possible
 - Provided that the new storm will not happen and the barge did not sink.  
   And yet, provided that they have an adequate supply of food and fresh water   
  - The stock for a few weeks or even months.  
   BUT ... for four people, they have been: only   
  a loaf of bread, two cans of stew, a bank and a little fat cereals, also in jars.
  Having found yet, and two buckets of potatoes   
  but it fell apart during a storm on the engine room and soaked in fuel oil.
  At the same time, and overturned tank with drinking water,  
   and to fresh water to cool the engines mingled with salty water.   
  Yes! one more thing: there were a few packs of cigarettes "Belomor".   
  Do not eat, so at least for a smoke ...
 They smoked.
  Cigarettes have finished first.  
   Very quickly ended stew and pork fat.  
   Tried was to cook the potatoes,  
   but could not bring myself to eat it.   
  Because of the oil.   
  Ziganshin   
  Junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin   
  More in a few days this potato soaked in fuel oil  
   It began to seem to them a delicacy ...
  The remaining food and water have decided effecting every possible economy.   
   Their commander, Askhat Ziganshin,   
  Guys trusted him most-the most important thing: to cook and distribute portions.   
  The calculation was - hold on.  
  before the end the declared missile launches.
  Which is held in the Pacific in this area.  
   First, for each day I had two spoons of cereal and two potatoes.   
  Then - on the potato for four. Once a day.  
   Then - once in two days .
  They drank the most water from the cooling system.  
   Initially, they were drinking it three times a day.  
  every person for three sips.  
   After this rate was halved.
  After this came to an end, and drinking water,  
   and they started collecting rain water.  
   Every person getting any in one sip every two days ...   
  Last potato was eaten on the day after the festival on 23 February.  
   I passed a month them loneliness in the ocean.   
  The barge during this time carried away from their shores for hundreds of miles ...
  The products they ran out of, they no longer had.  
  Food was no more  
   Almost half a century later, Askhat Ziganshin recalled:   
  ... Hunger tormented all the time.   
  Because of the cold.
  The rats had no, on barge. If they were, we would have eaten them.  
   Albatrosses flew, but we could not catch them.
  They tried to make fishing gear,   
  to fish, but that we could not  
   wave beats, and you're running back quickly ...

  I once lay forces have almost gone, and tugged the belt.  
   Suddenly remembered the teacher at school told me about sailors  
   shipwrecked and suffered from hunger.   
  They tore off the skin with masts, cooked and eaten.   
  Belt something I had leather.  
   We cut it finely, like noodles, and add to the soup instead of meat.
  After cut the strap on the radio.  
   After thought that we still have the leather.  
   And besides boots, up to what no longer have guessed ...   
  Experienced people say that in that position,   
  where was this quartet,   
  People often go crazy and cease to be a people:   
  panic, thrown overboard, killed for a sip of water,   
  kill to eat.
  These same guys kept the last effort,  
   supporting each other, and the hope of salvation.  
   Hopeless hungry and thirsty all the more difficult to tolerate Ivan Fedotov.   
  He is sometimes covered insane fear.
  At such moments come to the aid of others:   
   We encouraged him, gave hope, even in her own was already a bit ...  
   "And what a the taste of leather boots?" - Asked Anatoly Kryuchkovsky half a century.   
  Very bitter, with an unpleasant odor.   
  Do you think then to taste it?
  I wanted only one thing:  
   fool the stomach.
  But just do not eat the skin - too rigid.  
   So we cut off a small piece and burned.   
  When the skin is burned, it turned   
  in what looks like a charcoal, and becomes soft.   
  This "delicacy" We smeared with grease,  
   make it easier to swallow.
  Several of these "sandwiches" and make up our daily diet ...  
   Surprisingly, not that had no fighting between them -   
  none of them had never even voice on the other is not raised.   
  Probably, in some mysterious instinct they felt  
   that any conflict in their situation - a certain death.   
  And they lived, lived in hope.   
  And work, as they allow power:   
  standing waist-deep in cold water,
  scooped bowls are constantly coming into the bilge water.
  Anatoly Kryuchkovsky:   
  ... In recent days, hallucinating.   
  I heard that somewhere near a forge, talking people buzzing machines.   
  And when you climb onto the deck, you see - around a hollow, solid water,   
  Here it is where it gets really scary.   
  We agreed that if one of us feels that he can not continue to live,   
  then just say goodbye and everything. Remains the last to write our names.
  Just the day we passed by the ship.   
  We began to give him the signals,
  but because of the great distance we have not noticed.   
  It was March 2. Another ship we saw on 6 March.   
  But it is also passed by ...   
  Salvation came on 7 March in the evening,   
  when they had to live quite a bit:   
  their term of life was measured while only three matches,   
  yes floor of the kettle with fresh water.
  And the last leather made boots.
  we have not eaten   
  We were discovered by an American aircraft carrier «Kearsarge»
   
   They were found an American aircraft carrier «Kearsarge»
  about a thousand miles northwest of Midway Island. Thus, their  
  waterlogged, with a broken bottom of the barge was able to overcome in the Pacific Ocean  
  halfway to Hawaii and took more than a thousand nautical miles  
  - And this, too, like a miracle ...
   Salvation came to him just from the sky in the form of two helicopters.  
  The Americans dropped to the deck and rope ... and there was a pause.
   Askhat Ziganshin:  USS Kearsarge «Kearsarge»  
  ... They scream, and we are waiting for, when someone of them come down to the deck,
   and we put its conditions: "Give us food, fuel, and we are to go home."  
  Some helicopters hung there, the fuel is over - flown.
   Arrived others.  
  Look - on the horizon appeared a huge ship, the aircraft carrier.  
  When these helicopters and fuel was over, they disappeared with the ship.
   And here we really frightened.  
  So, when a couple of hours the ship came close to us,  
  we are not horsing around. I first climbed on board a US helicopter
 
 
 The initial attack of an unprecedented pride is explained very simply:  
  at the moment the guys not so much concerned with their own destiny  
  (It was clear that they were saved)   
  as the fate of the socialist property entrusted to them,  
  that is, a barge T-36.  
   Sergeant Ziganshin rose first.
  to explain this slow-witted Americans: need any crane,
  to drag Russian barge on the US aircraft carrier  
   Oddly enough, but the hoist for lifting barges on the aircraft carrier  
   for some reason it has not appeared,  
   Ziganshin and had to be satisfied with the promise of the Americans,  
   that suffering barge will take another ship.  
  On the deck of the US aircraft carrier  
  US sailors on aircraft carriers
  met the Russian people with exceptional hospitable and care  
   Literally the whole team, the captain, and until very recently, a sailor,  
  American sailors cared for them
 
  and tried to do everything possible for them.
   Losing weight "from 35 to 40 pounds"  
  guys still could, albeit with great difficulty,
   stand up and even move independently.  
  They immediately dressed, fed and taken to the shower.
   There Ziganshin tried to shave, but lost consciousness.  
  He woke up in the hospital,  
  where he saw a number of his comrades, who were sleeping peacefully on the bed next ...  
  The carrier, meanwhile, headed for San Francisco.  
  Three days later, when our boys to sleep off a little bit and came to their senses,  
  the ship arrived specially called from Hawaii translator.  
  And the first question that he asked Askhat Ziganshin,  
  was the question: "What's wrong with our barge?"
 
 Americans willingly confirmed their earlier promise to take care of it.
   (Of course, they cared only about making Ziganshin not worried.  
  Barge has long been destroyed, because, from the point of view of the Americans,
   it did not represent any value,  
  and leave her afloat and unattended was simply not safe).  
  Shave yourself at Ziganshin not strong enough  
  After many weeks of loneliness, hopelessness,  
  desperate hunger and thirst came for four of our lads are not spoiled by life  
  truly happy days.   
 They were under constant medical supervision,   
 fed them almost with a spoon and a special diet.
  Every morning the commander of the aircraft carrier visited them, asked about health.  
   Ziganshin once asked him why the aircraft carrier has not approached the barge immediately,
  as soon as discovered. "We were afraid of you" - joked Admiral.  
   The Americans, warning and smiling,   
  have done everything possible to them on the ship was not boring.  
   Guys do not remain in debt, and Americans showed a unique focus:   
  this is when the three people embrace the themselves one belt.
  Here I have to digress,  
   to remind readers that all this happened in 1960,   
  in the last year of the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower,   
  at the height of the "cold war."  
   And while the barge T-36 committed its unparalleled ocean voyage, her mysterious  
   disappearance was by no means our favorite topic of journalist in the USSR.   
  Knowing nothing about the fate of the crew and,   
  the competent authorities thoroughly tested version   
  the possible defection of four soldiers.
  Their relatives were informed that the guys were missing,   
  and the places of their possible appearance were placed under surveillance.   
  It does not exclude the version of the escape all fours to the West.   
  And it is only at first glance looks like a strange answer   
  Askhat Ziganshin on the question of
  what is the point in all this them epic was for him personally the worst:  
   ... It was not even 49 days on a barge.  
   This fear came after we were rescued.   
  At first I departed three days. Then he sat down and pondered.   
  I Russian soldiers.   
  Whose help we received?   
  From Moscow, a long time did not answer   
  They can decide how to contact the right thing.   
  It was very hard.   
  That's it.
  Nightmares about fifty days in the ocean, which is worse,
  and come up with something hard,   
  - A "real fear" came to him in the warmth
  and comfort of the American aircraft carrier.   
  This was the time.  
   On the successful rescue of four people the US State Department informed the Soviet embassy  
   Washington within a few hours after  
   the guys were on board the aircraft carrier «Kearsarge».   
  And all that week until the aircraft carrier went to San Francisco,
 Throughout the week, the Soviet press was silent,
  as the correspondent of "Pravda" Boris Strelnikov,
 contacting them by phone on the third day of their idyll on the aircraft carrier,  
   I advise the guys to keep "his tongue." They were silent as they could ...  
  By the time of arrival of the aircraft carrier in San Francisco,
  weighing all the "pros" and "cons", Moscow finally decided: they are heroes!  
   And the article "Stronger than Death", which appeared in the "News" March 16, 1960,  
   launched the ambitious promotional campaign   
  in the Soviet media.  
   Of course, the American press has started even earlier.  
   Valiant quartet was now prepared for a truly world-wide fame.   
  ... We are proud of and admire your glorious feat, which is a bright
  showing courage and fortitude of the Soviet people
  in the struggle against the forces of the ocean.   
  Your heroism, fortitude and endurance are the perfect example   
  perform military duty ...   
  ... I wish you, dear compatriots,  
   good health and a speedy return home
  The words we read in a telegram to Khrushchev dated as March 16.  
    So Homeland is ready to meet their heroes.  
    And yet - yet they enthusiastically met America.  
    In any case - under the watchful tutelage of representatives of the Soviet Embassy.   
  In San Francisco, the boys handed over "golden key" to the city.   
  They were dressed up in the Western manner,
  and they are more slender, in tight trousers fashionable,   
  in polished to a high gloss fashion shoes, began to look real dandy.
 
    
  In America, our lads for the first time saw a TV ...
   Then there was the New York, on transatlantic liner "Queen Mary"   
  Paris, the plane to Moscow
 
  A solemn meeting of the airport: the flowers, the generals, the crowds,  
   banners and posters. They are incredible, their trip around the world almost ended.  
   Another World was in the past. Homeland meets his heroes  
   The journey ended, but the propaganda campaign has just begun.   
  Names Ziganshin, Poplavsky and Fedotov Kryuchkovsky were on everyone's lips.   
  Their portraits all knew.
 
 
  They waited countless receptions, meetings, meetings, interviews.  
   Every day they are received literally bags of letters.  
   Open museums and exhibitions.   
  At home Ziganshin street named after him.  
   I talk about them the whole country.   
  The whole country is proud of its "four brave."  
   Their fame has not faded even in a year when the country learned the name of Yuri Gagarin.   
  One of the first papers published then congratulations, which was signed  
   Ziganshin, Poplavsky and Kryuchkovsky - students of the Nautical School in Leningrad:
  It was possible to do we, ordinary Soviet guys,  
   stand in the 49-day drift into the raging rapids of the Pacific Ocean.  
   That is why our first emissary into space pilot Yuri Gagarin  
   overcome all the difficulties of the first flight into space in the world ...  
   That is why…  
   But Fedotov sign was not there.   
  Ivan Fedotov, and it felt even then, as if kept somewhat aloof, refused to enter the Nautical School.   
  Then he went to his Far East and until his death in 2000  
   He lived quietly.  
   Why? Who knows…
  However, quietly lived because the next decades and the rest.  
  No special benefits and titles none of them received.  
  A publicity campaign gradually petered out.
   The country is getting lost and more and more new heroes.  
  And yet: for the sake of interest,
  I asked several elderly people have,
  whether they remember now, half a century later,
  these guys who were once for the whole world an example of courage?
   Remember.
   Even their names remembered ...  
  Anatoly Kryuchkovsky, 21 years old.  
  Philipp Poplavsky, 20 years.  
  Ivan Fedotov, 20 years old. Askhat Ziganshin, 21 years old.
   Two Ukrainians, Russian and Tatar.  
  Askhat Ziganshin, "And sometimes I think that there was nothing.
   No I do not feel the effects. Neither health nor on the material part - no.
   And thank God…"  
  Valentin Antonov, October 2008
 
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