Guernsey

New Jersey model boat bid to return across Atlantic

Paris Broe-Bougourd holding the 5ft unmanned boat Image copyright Paris Broe-Bougourd
Image caption Paris Broe-Bougourd found the damaged unmanned vessel while fishing off the coast of Guernsey

An unmanned boat that sailed across the Atlantic from the US to the British Isles is being launched in the hope it will return to New Jersey.

The 5ft (1.5m) boat named Crimson Tide was released on behalf of the Morristown-Beard School, New Jersey, off South Carolina in December 2012.

It was found south of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, by fisherman Paris Broe-Bougourd in February 2014.

The boat has been repaired and is due to be launched from a ship.

Mr Broe-Bougourd said he knew it was "a great find" as soon as he saw the image of the students attached to the deck of the boat.

Image caption The sail on the model boat has been replaced and it has been cleaned and repainted

Teacher Lisa Swanson said the boat had been launched to help the students learn about "the physical geography of the Earth, the currents and the weather".

Items placed in the boat including a flash drive and a t-shirt were lost during its journey, but a GPS unit placed aboard continued to function.

Mr Broe-Bougourd's mother Kathy has been in touch with the school and said: "The hope is the tide will take it back to New Jersey so the children will hopefully get it back eventually."

She said the harbour master and other mariners suggested the Crimson Tide would need to be launched from a boat.

Iain Phillips, agency manager for Alderney Shipping, said the crew of the cargo vessel Clarity - carrying scrap metal from the island to Ferrol, in Spain - agreed to launch it once the ship was in the Bay of Biscay, off the west coast of France.

Previous boats launched from the US as part of the Educational Passages initiative have been recovered in Portugal, Granada, Nova Scotia and Panama.

Image caption The crew of the Clarity agreed to launch the boat while in the Bay of Biscay

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