Crowds cheered on this morning as ‘prisoners’ were forced to pay a King’s ransom to earn their freedom – or walk the plank into the chilly waters of Hamilton Harbour.
But the event was all in good fun and for a good cause – raising funds for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation charity.
More than 40 people signed up to either “sink or be saved” – with most of them ending up in the briny after walking the plank from the Spirit of Bermuda.
Tom Oppenheim, the deputy Governor, gave the order to lower the plank and reading from a proclamation, Mr Oppenheim said: “Out of the great confidence I have in the bad conduct, cowardice, infidelity and general bullying behaviour of you, the said Captain Nicholas Alley and your crew, attendants, assistants, and office managers in achieving great gusts of laughter, I do, by the utterly worthless authority placed in me by the now non-existent Admiral of the Bermuda station, towards the achievement of great hilarity and utterly dubious entertainment to be achieved upon various well-known individuals.
“I charge you to kidnap, verbally torture all hostages and extract the best possible humorous value from said individuals whilst extracting greatest monetary value from those capable of viewing such a spectacle.”
Nathan Moore was the first victim to take the walk of shame into the water – after his children watching from the quayside ordered that he sink rather than be saved.
Clambering ashore after his ordeal, Mr Moore, head of legal at reinsurance firm AIA, said: “The water was refreshing – just what I needed after St Patrick’s Day.
“I’ve been a believer in this for some time. Some family members have been part of the Sloop Foundation over the years and so anything I can do to give back I’m happy to do. And I like to be in the spotlight.”
This year’s event has so far raised more than $70,000, although donations are still coming in.
The Foundation, which provides educational programmes to youngsters who crew the Spirit of Bermuda on voyages to the Caribbean, US, and the Azores.
• More pictures can be found here.