Morris Students' Unmanned Sailboat Lands in France 442 Days Later

A GPS-monitored sailing vessel set adrift by Morristown-Beard students in December 2012 was found this week by an English fisherman.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

Students at Morristown-Beard School have taken the message in a bottle idea a step further, and 442 days later, it paid off.

Middle School students there learned about “Educational Passages” from Dick Baldwin of Maine, a program that teaches about oceanography, earth science and geography, according to sustainableguernsey.info.

Baldwin brought to them an unmanned sailboat weighing 36 lbs. and stretching five feet long, that the students would name, personalize and set adrift, the France-based blog said.

Students named the ship Crimson Tide, strapped it with a GPS monitoring unit that could be accessed via the Internet, a class photo, and instructions of what to do when someone found the vessel, the blog said.

On Feb. 16, the journey became a destination, clear across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Paris Broe-Bougourd, fishing in an area called Little Russell, an island in the English Channel off the French Coast of Normandy, found the barnacle-covered vessel and plucked it from the sea, the blog said. The ship was set sail from South Carolina on Dec. 1, 2012 by a Morristown-Bear board of trustees member. 

Crimson Tide was one of 28 unmanned sailboats to be set adrift through Educational Passages, the blog said. Discussions to repair the boat’s mast and sail, which were damaged during the journey, are in the works to put the ship back into international waters.

Find out more here.

According to Morristown-Beard's website, this year's sixth grade class sent another unmanned sailboat out to see on Nov. 6, and its path can be followed here.

Social issues in Morristown Blog March 02, 2014 at 10:19 AM
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