A unique ship lifting operation was carried out in the Odessa port. Divers from Ukraine and the United States lifted from the bottom of Prakticheskaya Bay the yacht “Burevestnik”, which was used by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev for leisure time.
The yacht sank in 2016 and for five years turned into a heap of crumbling wreckage, which interfered with the movement of ships in Prakticheskaya Bay, including the military.
Preparations for the lift began on June 22 this year. The survey showed that the larch hull is in very poor condition – the five-year stay under water affected, but they still decided to save the boat by trying to raise it entirely.
Three divisions of American specialists, more than 40 people of which 38 divers, began to survey the “Burevestnik”. Together with the Americans, 17 of our divers went under water. To lift the wreckage of the ship from the bottom of the sea off the coast of Odessa, the servicemen used scuba gear, a crane and special equipment.
In 2016, the Ukrainians, had already tried to raise the ship from the seabed, but to no avail. This time, they managed to pull most of the hull out of the water and move it to the shore for further disposal. The head of the operation was the master diver from the US Navy, Sean McConnell. The operation should be finally be completed by August 1.
Earlier, the head of the search and rescue service of the Ukrainian Navy, Alexey Nesterov, said that the wooden hull of the yacht could not be fully raised, much less restored. American specialists decided to use special pontoons to lift the ship. Now the body is installed with a floating crane on a special cradle. The further fate of Brezhnev’s unique yacht is still vague.
The boat PSKR-51 “Burevestnik”, 37 meters long, was built in 1960 specifically for the recreation of the first persons of the former USSR. It was handed over to the customer in July 1961 (serial number 1202). Two diesel engines allowed the boat to reach speeds of up to 37 knots (68.5 km / h).
A total of four such ships were built, two of them – PSKR-50 “Strela” and PSKR-51 “Burevestnik”. “Strela” was based in Yalta, whilst “Burevestnik” became part of the Poti border detachment. It wintered at the Ochamchira base, and closer to summer it moved closer to the government dachas, to Sukhumi.
Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the URSS Central Committee, liked to bring big Soviet bosses on board, when they were on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus on official business trips or on vacation. For this, the ship was called “Brezhnev’s yacht”.
In the early 1990s, the State considered it inappropriate to spend money on a pleasure yacht. It was sold to a private buyer, who in 1995 brought the ship to Odessa, where it was acquired by the owner of the shipping company FlyShip.
The “Burevestnik” needed repairs, but it remained abandoned in the Odessa Port’s Prakticheskaya Bay, until it sank at the pier, in January 2016, during a storm. In the summer of the same year, they tried to raise it, but the operation ended in failure, after which the hull was pulled into shallow water.