A New Hampshire school's class project, thought to be lost at sea, has been found over a year later halfway around the world.
According to CNN, fifth-grade students at Rye Junior High School in New Hampshire built a 5-and-a-half foot long boat that they named "Rye Riptides." Students at the school had spent more than a year assembling the boat as part of a lesson about the ocean and environmental literacy.
The students created the boat from a kit provided to the school by a nonprofit called Education Passage. The group encourages students to build the boats and put them out to sea so the nonprofit can track their progress through GPS.
The class launched "Rye Riptides" into the Atlantic Ocean — located about a mile away from campus — on Oct. 25, 2020. That marked the beginning of the tiny boat's 462-day, 8,000-mile journey.
The class monitored the boat's progress for about a year as it wandered aimlessly in the northern Atlantic. However, GPS stopped tracking the boat's progress on Sept. 30, 2021, leading the class to think the vessel had been lost at sea.
But on Jan. 31, Education Passage executive director Cassie Stymiest noticed that Rye Riptides had reappeared on the map, this time off the coast of Noway in the Norwegian Sea. After a few calls to local authorities, Stymiest confirmed the boat had been found on the Norwegian island Smøla.
According to The Guardian, the boat was recovered by Karel Nuncic, a sixth-grade student. The Riptides had lost its hull and keel during the voyage and was covered in barnacles, but it was still decorated with artwork made by the New Hampshire students.
Karel took the boat to school, where students opened the boat to reveal quarters, leaves and a COVID-19 mask signed by the students at Rye Junior High.
The New Hampshire students, now in sixth and seventh grade, plan to hold a Zoom call with their new Norwegian friends soon.