On 17 January 1960 a barge with four soldiers on board was torn from shore. Initially Ashat Ziganshin (Асхат Зигашин), junior sergeant, and his friends did not get upset, however barge went further and further from the land while started storm. Soldiers did not have enough fuel to go back.
- We have a loaf of bread, two buckets with potatoes, a can with stewed meat, a little cereal and a few packs of cigarettes, - remember Ashat Ziganshin.
- Go outside, catch a tide, then rapidly go back. On 24 February last potato were eaten. I was just lying, being totally exhausted, and was biting wristlet of clocks. Suddenly I remembered a story told by my school teacher about sailors running aground. They used leather of the mast, boiled and ate. My belt was from leather. We cut it on small pieces like noodles and add it to the water instead of a meat. Then we used belts from radio stations. The same were with leather packs of accordion. Then we go to the kersey boots. These were boiled in ocean water in order to dispose of shoe polish. Then cut on small pieces... Soft water were taken from a system that makes diesel cooler, collect rain water.
First ship we saw on the 45 day of drifting, 2 March. We fired all rag, we were screaming, but all was without the result. On 6 March masts once again appeared. But we were not noticed again.
On the 49 day appeared planes and the aircraft carrier. Soviet soldiers recognized foreign forces and as they were taught did not agree on help with hostile helicopters. After few hours aircraft carrier went away. Soldiers were frightened. It meant coming death.
Fortunately aircraft came back and stood near the barge. Ziganshin were first who up on the deck. Soon he saw friends: Poplabskiy (Поплавский), Fedulov (Федулов), Kruchkovsky (Крючковский). Everyone were given a cup with bouillon and bread. Then they went to take a shower while NATO soldiers were tearing their clothes to souvenirs. Zingashin started soap his cheek and fell down in a faint. Then he woke up in a sickbay. In a few next days they had a rest and made friends with sailors.
However they were frightened weather they be heroes or traitors in the Soviet Union.
The story were made public. The governor of San-Francisco gave keys of the city and guys were coming back to the home like a heroes!
Soldiers became renown in the Soviet Union. Post mailer brought bags full of mails every day. They performed up to 12 talk shows a day. At that time there appeared very popular song on music "Rock around the Clock".
Как на Тихом океане (When on the Pacific Ocean)
Тонет баржа с чуваками (the barge are going down with dudes)
Чуваки не унывают (Dudes don't give up)
Рок на палубе кидают (They rock on the deck)
Зиганшин-рок, Зиганшин-буги (Ziganshin-rock, Ziganshin-boogie)
Зиганшин - парень из Калуги (Ziganshin is a guy from Kaluga)
Зиганшин-буги, Зиганшин-рок (Ziganshin-rock, Ziganshin-boogie)
Зиганшин съел чужой сапог (Ziganshin ate another's boot)
Поплавский-рок, Поплавский-буги (Poplavsky-rock, Poplavsky-boogie)
Поплавский съел письмо подруги (Poplavsky ate girlfriend's mail)
Пока Поплавский чистил зубы (While Poplavsky were cleaning teath)
Зиганшин съел второй сапог (Ziganshin ate the second boot)
Зиганшин-буги, Крючковский-рок (Ziganshin-boogie, Kruchkovsky-rock)
Поплавский съел второй сапог (Poplavsky ate the second boot)
Пока Зиганшин рок кидал (While Ziganshin were rock'n roll)
Гармонь Федотов доедал (Fedotov were eating up accardion)
Пока Поплавский зубы скалил (While Poplavsky were bareing one's teeth)
Зиганшин съел его сандальи (Ziganshin ate his sandals)
I have not found any record of this song, anyway, boogie-woogie rocks :)
(Article are based on the interview with Ziganshin by Malyoukin (Юрий Малюкин) in Petersburg diary and the interview in http://s5s.ru/49.htm, Ziganshin's speech translated without any transforming)