Canadian miniboat washes up in Achill
ACHILL is making national and international headlines today after a boat launched in Canada washed up on a local beach.
Darren Kilbane found the miniboat on Dookinella beach yesterday after its 103-day journey across the Atlantic.
The Raven Kaster was launched on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland last November after the School of Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute challenged students to create a 90-second video on the theme How Oceans Affect Climate Change.
The miniboat was prepared by the students in a Grade 8 class at Frank Roberts Junior High in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, with help from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The students visited the Marine Institute where they learned about oceanography and currents, and took part in activities focused on boat building and ocean mapping.
They also spent time preparing, naming and personalising their miniboat and prior to setting sail, the vessel was filled with letters and pictures from the students.
On landing, a water tight compartment on the boat was found to contain the letters from the 20 students involved, along with a memory stick and a book.
RTÉ and TG4 have both been filming in Achill today, Achill Tourism has reported, and the landing is also making the news back in Canada.
Sean Molloy of Achill Tourism contacted the Canadian authorities who now want to to partner with Colaiste Pobal Acla in Achill.
Dawn Roche, managing editor of The Journal of Ocean Technology, said:”We'd like to connect with the students in Ireland and, hopefully, get it relaunched. We think this would be a great opportunity to make connections and engage students in both countries.”
The almost two-metre long vessel is currently available to see in the Achill Tourist Information Office and will be handed over to the students of Colaiste Pobal Acla once they return from mid-term break.
In 1987, a British rower, Don Allum, became the first man to row solo across the Atlantic in both directions. On the second leg of his journey, he departed from St. Johns in Newfoundland, just a few kilometres from Frank Roberts Junior High, and landed in Achill on Dooagh Beach, about 5km from the location where the boat was found.