On January 17, 1960, the man-of-war's crew of four was preparing the barge for loading on the Kuril Islands, when they encountered heavy weather. The tackle was torn and the crew, junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin (Russian: Асхат Рахимзянович Зиганшин, Tatar Cyrillic: Әсхәт Рәхимҗан улы Җиһаншин, Latin: Äsxät Räximcan ulı Cihanşin), and crewmen Filipp Poplavsky (Russian: Филипп Григорьевич Поплавский), Anatoly Kryuchkovsky (Russian: Анатолий Фёдорович Крючковский), and Ivan Fedotov (Russian: Иван Ефимович Федотов), drifted for 49 days until the U.S. aircraft carrier Kearsarge picked up them on 7 March in stormy waters 1,200 miles off Wake Island.
There was not enough food on the barge: one loaf of bread and a bucket of potatoes, sodden in black oil. As they drifted in the area, where the Soviet missiles were tested and navigation was forbidden, no ship found them until the Americans did. The crew also ate their leather belts, wristlets and finally boots to prolong their food reserves. The drift of Askhat "Victor" Ziganshin's crew took a resonance in the worldwide press. Returning to the USSR, the crew had popularity close to the popularity of cosmonauts, and took a major role in Soviet pop-culture