BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Planet Cornwall

You are in: Cornwall > Planet Cornwall > Planet Cornwall > Duck Ahoy

Rubber duck

Duck Ahoy

After falling overboard from a container ship bound for Seattle from China in 1992, 29,000 rubber ducks are soon to end up on the Cornish coasts after a 15 year journey which has given scientists a valuable insight into surface currents.

The toys have helped researchers to chart these great ocean currents as they have been far more widely reported to authorities that the kind of floats the scientists currently use.

Rubber ducks could soon be coming ashore

Rubber ducks could soon be coming ashore

"The ducks went around the North Pacific in three years - all the way from the spill site to Alaska, over to Japan and back to North America," said Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a retired oceanographer based in Seattle.

"This was twice as fast as the water at the surface - so I began to call them hyper-ducks."

The floating ducks are expected to wash up on the Cornish coast this summer, battered and bleached by their journey through the waters of the Arctic, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

"The ducks went around the North Pacific in three years - all the way from the spill site to Alaska, over to Japan and back to North America"

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a retired oceanographer

After falling overboard 15 years ago, the ducks floated along the Alaskan coast, reaching the Bering Strait in 1995. It is thought they were trapped by slow moving ice for several years as it then took them until 2000 to reach the Atlantic ocean.

A year later, they were tracked in the area of the north Atlantic where the Titanic sank.

During their voyage, some of the ducks broke away - and headed for Europe - others have surfaced in Hawaii.

Beachcombers will know whether these are the genuine rubber ducks as they will have the words "The First Years" stamped upon them.

If there is a sighting then please do email us at:

last updated: 16/07/07

You are in: Cornwall > Planet Cornwall > Planet Cornwall > Duck Ahoy

BBC News
Man dies while diving with friends
Trevose Head A 63-year-old man dies after getting into difficulties while diving with a group of friends in Cornwall.

BBC Radio Cornwall
Your Local BBC Radio Station Listen to the latest bulletin

Spotlight
Monday to Friday at 13:30, 18:30 & 22:25
Watch the latest edition

How to download RealPlayer


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy