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Dive the wreck of the Mikhail Lermontov

Listed under Diving in South Island, New Zealand.

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The Mikhail Lermontov, a Russian cruise ship was wrecked just out of the Marlborough Sounds in 1986 carrying more than 700 people. Sailing between a lighthouse rock and the sounds it hit and tore open its hull then drifted into deeper seas taking on water. It is now lying on its starboard in between 15 and 35 metres of water, a good depth for recreational divers to explore and is New Zealand’s largest shipwreck. Marine life has happily moved in and it has pretty much become and artificial reef. An added bonus is that dolphins and orcas are often in the area so you may get to see some topside on your way down. Beginners can explore the upper decks, the state rooms and a couple of the bars and restaurants where you can still see spirit bottles and beer cans. More experienced wreck divers will probably want to get in under the ship to inspect the three huge gashes in her side and have a look at the rest of the damage to the guts. If you have the relevant experience you can enter the engine room. As it ages and more fish move in this is becoming more and more popular. Go with a guide and see the highlights.

Written by  Andrew Marchant.

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