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‘Pirates’ set sail in Trafalgar Square fountains but fail to find treasure before security turfs them out

A horde of “pirates” improbably descended on the capital today to look for buried treasure below the fountains in Trafalgar Square – until security put a stop to their exploits.

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The stunt was part of a PR campaign for the launch of Black Sails, a televised prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treaure Island, which hits British screens tomorrow.

Carrying their boat aloft after being moved on by burly guards, the motley crew traipsed past the Houses of Parliament before braving the rain to set sail on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.

They did not find any treasure.

Black Sails follows Stevenson’s infamous pirate Captain Flint in what producers call “a bitter and back stabbing power struggle for the ultimate booty”.

It will be aired on History from 10pm.