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Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK

UK: Wales

Diver sinks £1,000 pint

A team of divers recovered the £1,000-a-bottle beer

A diver with a taste for real ale told how he lost £1,000 when he sank a 105-year-old bottle of beer found in the wreck of a sailing ship.

Jim Phillips discovered seven bottles of the Scottish beer in the wreck of the Loch Shiel off the west Wales coast.

The vessel, which was sailing to Australia from Glasgow, went down in a storm off Thorne Island, near Milford Haven, in 1894.

The cargo of 7,500 cases of whisky and 7,000 cases of beer was lost in the storm.

Mr Phillips and his team of divers recovered the beer bottles in the silt.

[ image: The vessel went down off Thorne Island]
The vessel went down off Thorne Island
As they were brought to the surface the cork in one popped open.

Mr Phillips, a member of the Adventurous Divers Club, in Swansea, said: "I took a swig.

"It was flat and a bit sour, but it had not been contaminated by the salt water.

"I offered it around to the rest of the team but no-one was interested, so I finished it off.

"We later had the find valued at £1,000 a bottle, so it was certainly the most expensive pint I've ever had."

The remaining bottles are to be auctioned off.

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