1986: Russian Titanic ‘Nakhimov’ sinks – worst accident in Soviet maritime history

On this day in 1986, the Admiral Nakhimov collided with the large bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev in the Tsemes Bay, near the port of Novorossiysk, and quickly sank. In total, 423 of the 1,234 people on board died.

Some passengers aboard the doomed Soviet liner were dancing on deck before its bowels were ripped open by the cargo ship and it sank inside 15 minutes.

The ship was 570 feet long with four decks and described as a passenger and general cargo vessel. The sinking of the Admiral Nakhimov was the second disaster involving a Soviet passenger ship during 1986. On February 16, the Soviet cruise ship Mikhail Lermontov struck a reef off the coast of New Zealand and sank.

The Nakhimov was launched in March 1925 and originally named SS Berlin, was a passenger liner of the German Weimar Republic later converted to a hospital ship, then a Soviet passenger ship.