SCUBA divers discovered treasure at the bottom of the sea – and donated it straight to a hospice.
Hartlepool Divers Club lifted buckets of coins from the bed of Hartlepool Marina that they estimate to be worth up to £400.
The cash had sank to the depths after generous passers-by tried to throw them into a bowl held by a metal monkey that protrudes out of the water near the lock gates, but missed.
Malcolm Logan, treasurer of the group, said the floor of the marina was covered in money and estimates there is another £400 down there.
Malcom, 65, said: “It was being defended by a rather angry crab that had to be tapped out of the way a few times.
“He obviously thought he was rich. There was a lobster and lots of crayfish nearby as well.
“There was so much money down there and a lot of it in pound coins. It really shows how generous people are, even if they’re not a very good shot.
“The money collected by the monkey goes to Hartlepool & District Hospice, so we only thought it right to give them these coins as well.”
The club’s divers have pulled out coins from near the statue before, but haven’t been scavenging in the marina for two years.
The six-strong team also had a few interesting finds during their 20-minute dives over the weekend.
Malcolm, who lives in Stockton, added: “There were quite a few foreign coins and kids’ fishing nets down there. I think a few people have had a go at scooping coins out of the monkey and failed, which is a bit cheeky.”
The club’s members are now planning on counting the coins at their next meeting on Thursday night before taking it all to the bank.
Malcolm said: “I’ve told the bank and they’re happy to accept it. They call it ‘soggy money’, which I find quite funny, as it is damaged and needs sending straight to the mint.”
The club, which is based in Middleton House, regularly dives in Hartlepool Marina, which its members describe as a “giant aquarium”, as well as off the Hartlepool coast and around the UK.
It is holding Sunday scuba diving taster sessions from 1pm-2pm on September 29 and October 6 at the pool in Manor College of Technology, in Owton Manor Lane.
For more information, Malcolm can be contacted on 07958711412 and the club’s dive officer, Kev Pounder, on 07904712103.