Toy Boat From South Carolina School Project Travels 4,000 Miles To Wales, UK

A toy boat launched as a project by fourth grade students at a school in South Carolina has turned up nine months later on a beach in Wales.

Back in May 2015, students in a fourth grade class at the St. Andrew’s School of Math and Science launched a toy boat from the High & Dry Boat works in Charlestown, South Carolina. The boat recently turned up on Borth Beach in county Ceredigion, Wales, having traveled almost 4,000 miles over the ocean.

The students have been tracking the journey of their prized toy boat, along with other boats, in what is termed the Educational Passages Boats project for the last year on the NOAA website, and she has had quite a journey.

Dubbed the Carolina Dreamer, the toy boat was created by the students at the St. Andrews School of Math and Science in Charleston as part of a project on the world’s oceans.

According to the Educational Passages website, the toy boat initially made its debut at St. Andrew’s Science Night, where she was “a big hit.” Friends of the school at the High and Dry Boat works reportedly adopted the boat and gave her a great paint job, and the toy boat was displayed in the school cafeteria for all 700+ students to see and learn about her before she headed off on her amazing journey.

Amy McMahon was the teacher who led the project, and she explained to the media that they have been tracking the boat’s journey for the last nine months, but they were worried when the Carolina Dreamer’s GPS failed to send a signal on February 2. They thought they would never hear from her again.

“Our students frantically contacted harbor masters, the U.K. Coast Guard, and anyone and everyone who may come in contact with her. The response was astounding and it seemed that the entire coastline of Ireland and Wales were keeping watch.”

According to the tracking website, the Carolina Dreamer has had quite an adventure, as it has been to Ireland, Wales, Bermuda, and England.

Reportedly, it was on February 10 that the local woman, Helen Hinks of Talybont, who found the Carolina Dreamer, told the BBC how magical it was to find the toy boat on the beach. The school received the following message from Hinks to let them know the lost boat had been found.

“About a week ago, I was on the beach with my son and we saw a little boat come sailing in on the waves. We pulled it out and stored it safety. My daughters go to school in Borth and were really excited about the finding. I will take it to the school tomorrow morning and explain the story. Very exciting to have found and to give news to the children at your school. Many thanks Helen Hinks.”

As reported by ABC, McMahon said she feels like they all went on a trip to Wales every day, while they were watching the Carolina Dreamer’s progress and tracking her. She said the students feel their work is important, because when the boat pings, she’s “reporting data to NOAA and very important information about our oceans.”

Reportedly the toy boat was missing a few parts when she was found, but Hinks has said her children’s school is hoping to relaunch the Carolina Dreamer from the shores of Wales so the boat can continue its adventures.

[Photo Borth Beach, Wales via Flickr by Tom Gough/CC BY-SA 2.0]