A model boat built by school children and launched off the coast of New Jersey in America survived an epic 14 months at sea before landing 3,000 miles away – in Guernsey.
The 5ft vessel was constructed by pupils aged 11 and 12 for a class project on tides and released into the Atlantic in December 2012.
The youngsters attached a photo of themselves and installed a tracking device so they could follow its progress across the ocean.
Their vessel, the Crimson Tide, spent more than year zig-zagging across the ocean before landing on the Channel Island of Guernsey.
Boater Paris Broe-Bougourd, 27, fished it out of the swell and spotted the yellowing photograph of the children from New Jersey’s Morris Town-Beard High School. The school’s contact details were also etched on to the boat so Paris was able to ring them this week to say he’d found it.
The hull was covered in barnacles, the mast had snapped and a waterproof capsule containing t-shirts and trinkets had been swept away – but the sturdy craft was still intact. Paris said: ‘My friend, Luke Bentley, spotted it in the water. He thought it was debris I feel really good for finding it, it’s something different – like a revolutionised message in a bottle. ‘I am a carpenter by trade and will fix it up ASAP and as soon as the weather is calm will take it out and launch it. ‘One of the students was also called Paris. It really is a one-in-a-million find.’
The boat project was devised by US geography teacher Lisa Swanson as a novel way to study the effects of tides and the Gulf Stream. The GPS tracker had remained undamaged throughout the remarkable Atlantic crossing, allowing her excited pupils to watch its journey via a website. Ms Swanson said: ‘My students were hoping to make a connection with other students. We were studying tides and launched it into the Gulf Stream. ‘It has been out there so long. It has been everywhere. The students will be very excited to hear it has made it.’
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