South West Wales

US school's unmanned boat reaches Welsh coast

Unmanned vessels Image copyright Kent School
Image caption The Osprey (r) was one of three unmanned vessels launched in June from the US

An unmanned boat sent by a school in the USA has washed up on the Pembrokeshire coast three months after it set sail.

Students from Kent School in Maryland launched The Osprey with a time capsule onboard off the New Jersey coast on 13 June and tracked it across the ocean.

Robert Morgan from Tenby found the boat in Swanlake bay, near Manorbier, while collecting rubbish from the beach.

Kent School said they were "thrilled" the boat had reached Wales.

The outside of the vessel contained a message in English and Spanish asking whoever found it to deliver it to the local "middle school" - or pupils aged 12-14 - who they said would find a list of email addresses and other items inside, and asking them to contact the school.

Image copyright Ben James/Greenhill School
Image caption The boat took pride of place in Year 8's morning assembly

In a message to BBC Wales, the school said: "We are thrilled that The Osprey made landfall in Pembrokshire. It was launched on June 13.

"We look forward to interacting with students who may have a chance to view the contents of our time capsule."

Mr Morgan said he had been unable to remove the vessel from the beach himself as it was very heavy and he did not have transport, but he reported it on social media and it has now been taken to Greenhill Secondary School in Tenby.

Matthew Davies, deputy head, told BBC News: "We had a message yesterday which came through from a member of staff who also works for the local lifeboat.

"He went to pick [the vessel] up and has brought it into school."

Image copyright Ben James/Greenhill School

The boat featured in a Year 8 assembly first thing in the morning and is now waiting to be opened.

"Our excitement was at fever pitch. We're going to wait for our head teacher to make contact with the school in the US and then hopefully do a live weblink with them and open it up."

Mr Davies added he hoped the boat's arrival would see the start of a link with Kent School.

Asked about the possible contents of the capsule, he said: "I'd have to leave that to the children. If we were sending them one out we'd maybe send one which was representative of our community and our school. But I'd guess maybe an American flag and a state flag."

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