Skipper: Gold bar haul joke 'went too far'
A fishing crew that posted pictures of a fake "gold bar" they'd dredged up on social networking site Facebook were shocked to find police waiting for them as they returned to shore.
Skipper Billy Anderson, 36, and his crew posted the picture of the imitation bar – actually a brass bracket – after hauling it in 16 miles off Falmouth. But after returning to Newlyn in their 108ft trawler Sea Lady, the crew, employed by TN Trawlers in Arran, found officers waiting for them.
The skipper was forced to explain that it was just a bit of scrap metal and not bullion rumoured to be on the seabed from the infamous Brink's-Mat robbery in 1983.
But the police weren't the only ones to be misled by the prank after the skipper and his six crew cut the bracket with an angle grinder.
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In his posts on Facebook, the 36-year-old said the crew had dredged up 11 bars of bullion worth £1.5 million. The news spread and he was inundated with pleas for the location co-ordinates to be disclosed. But Mr Anderson ended up having to come clean after his own boat's owners prepared to send two more to the site.
He also had to plead that his fiancée, Claire Muir, 29, did not go spending the cash before he had arrived home.
The skipper told The Sun: "When I saw them waiting for me on the pier I knew the joke had gone too far."