On 16 February 1986 the Mikhail Lermontov, a 155 metre long ship with 408 passengers and 330 crew, left Picton.
The ship struck Perham rock (a submerged rock) between Cape Jackson and Jackson Head. Although the ship was built for ice breaking, this proved too much strain on the hull and the damage caused was 2 gashes of 40 feet long about 100 feet back from the port beam. The ship was filling up with water fast and headed for port Gore beach. There was only one life lost when the ship sunk in 37 metres of water.
The Lermontov now lies on her Starboard side and is fully intact. The Lermontov is a fantastic diving experience. The bridge, pool area, propellers and hull damage are all easily assessable.
Penetration dives are NOT recommended unless with an experienced guide!!!!!!!!
The wreck is now an artificial reef & is encrusted with invertebrate life and home to schools of local fish.
Visibility on the outside of the wreck can range from 5-15+ metres, inside the wreck it averages around 12 metres.