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Beer stolen from a wreck off the coast of Argentina

Seven barrels of beer aged on a wreck sunk off the coast of Argentina were stolen as part of an experiment. The thieves stole 700 litres of beer that had been aged on the wreck as part of an experiment conducted by three craft breweries and a dive centre from the Mar del Plata resort.
Published: February 28, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 22:04
Beer stolen from a wreck off the coast of Argentina

Seven barrels of beer aged on a wreck sunk off the coast of Argentina were stolen as part of an experiment.

The thieves stole 700 litres of beer that had been aged on the wreck as part of an experiment conducted by three craft breweries and a dive centre from the Mar del Plata resort. The aim was to study the maturation process of a dark ale beer, which has an alcohol content of 11-12%.

The barrels of liquor were placed in two metal frames attached to the bow of the wreck of the Russian ship Kronomether, which sank in 2014. However, on 23 February, the day before they were retrieved again, diver Carlos Brelles of Thalassa Diving School discovered that the barrels had been removed from the cages. The police were notified and began an investigation.

The experiment’s originators and participants intended to mix the contents of the barrels lying in the sea with another ale to produce a total of 2,000 bottles of Kronomether beer and donate the proceeds to the local museum of natural sciences.

The wreck of the Kronomether vessel is a local attraction that is very popular with recreational divers. The group had been making efforts for over a year to obtain all the necessary permits needed to conduct the beer experiment.

Although the experiment’s organisers’ plans were at one point severely complicated by a coronavirus pandemic, in the end the team sunk seven barrels of beer. Admittedly, this was less than planned, but if you don’t have what you like… The entire operation to place the barrels on the wreck was carried out on 22 November 2020 under the supervision of the Argentinean Navy.

The beer on the wreck was last seen on 19 January, during an inspection dive and barrel inspection conducted at that time. According to conjecture, the thieves most likely did not even realise that they would not have much use out of the liquid at this stage of weighing. It is also possible that the barrels were detached from the wreck in an act of vandalism.

Although the organisers feel very disappointed with the turn of events, they nevertheless intend to resume the Kronomether project as soon as possible. Of course, having learned from experience, they will take additional security measures to help protect the beer from underwater thieves.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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