Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Scotch from "Whisky Galore" Wreck Up for Auction
A bottle of Scotch from a legendary shipwreck is set to be auctioned next week in the United Kingdom.
The wreck of the SS Politician in 1941 set off a flurry of "salvage" efforts by residents of the Outer Hebrides and inspired the 1949 film "Whisky Galore." Now a bottle recovered from the ship in a 1970 dive is going to be sold at Gorringes Auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex, on Dec. 3rd. Bob Pert, a leader of the dive team that located the wreck, is selling the whisky.
The bottle of Ballantine Scotch from the SS Politician, which ran aground off of Eriskay, could sell for several thousand dollars. The ship was sailing for the Jamaica and U.S. with 260,000 bottles of whisky at the time of the wreck.
All of the crew got off of the ship safely. When word of the cargo spread among locals, who were facing war time rationing, small boats began going out to the ship to recover cases of the whisky. Authorities tried to halt the efforts and actually charged some of the salavagers with stealing the Scotch. The government eventually sank the damaged ship, but not before the majority of the whisky had been removed by the unauthorized crews.