The Russian Cruise Ship MS Mikhail Lermontov ripped her steel hull open on rocks near Port Gore in the Marlborough Sounds and sank. - All on board were saved except for one crew member.
The New Zealand pilot Captain Don Jamison was also the Harbourmaster at Picton - where the ship had sailed from, - carrying mostly retired Australian passengers and he steered the ship inshore attempting a short-cut - despite a Russian officer questioning his course.
Thanks to the efforts of local rescue vessels all but one on board were rescued.
Good looking ship eh - 576 foot long - below is what she looks like now on underwater sonar:
The kiwi pilots decision that caused the wreck is inexplicable.
- There were rumoured to be KGB agents on board watching the crew etc. - so there might be some relic firearms to be found left on board in cabins eh.
In October 2011 the MV Rena also tried to take a short-cut near Tauranga and ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef where she broke in two - spilling lots of oil. She too was in a hurry.
NZ Defence Forces Photo of 'RENA' Aground.
Originally (1990) called 'ZIM America' and registered in Haifa Israel - she later became the 'Andaman Sea' registered in Valletta, Malta - before becoming the 'Rena' in 2010 registered in Monrovia, Liberia.
Owned by Diana Shipping Company - a subsidiary of Greek shipping company 'Costamare Inc.' she was chartered to the 'Mediterranean Shipping Company' - but NZ Authorities managed to trace her back to responsible people and extracted millions of dollars compensation and insurance. By 2014 77% of the on-board cargo containers had been removed - leaving the rest to the fishes (and divers).