U.S. middle school students launch boat for Norwegian boy

The boat was decorated with artwork by students from New Hampshire, and had a tracking device that went silent during parts of its journey.

U.S. middle school students launch boat for Norwegian boy

It was discovered in Norway on Feb. 1.

RYE (N.H.) -- A small boat that was launched by middle school students in New Hampshire in October 2020 and containing photos and fall leaves has been discovered 462 days later by a sixth-grader in Norway.

The Rye Riptides were 6-foot long and decorated with artwork by the children. They were equipped with a tracking device that went quiet for parts of their journey.

The boat had lost its hull, keel and deck on the 8,300-mile trip. However, the cargo hold and deck were intact. Karel Nuncic was the student who discovered it. He and his classmates eagerly opened the boat last week. The Rye Junior High school in Norway will soon be calling the students.

"When you send it out, you don't know where it's going, how it's getting there, or if it ever gets there at all," stated Cassie Stymiest (executive director of Educational Passages), a Maine nonprofit that started working with the school in 2018. "But these children, they put their hopes, dreams, and wishes into it. I tend to believe sometimes that helps."

They set out the boat in the Atlantic Ocean, and followed its course. They had to deal with Shelia Adams' retirement and the long periods of silence when its GPS was not working.

The boat was able to come back online in hurricane season. It registered plot points in August/September at the same latitude that Ireland. It vanished once more. They discovered that the boat appeared to have hit land west of a small Norwegian island on Jan. 30.

Molly Flynn, a seventh-grader, said that she was shocked the boat made it to someplace. "I was worried it would get stuck on the map, but it made it. It was amazing and really cool.


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