Highlands & Islands

Icelandic GPS 'message in bottle' washed up on Tiree

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Media captionOne of two "messages in a bottle" has been found on the Isle of Tiree

A "message in a bottle" scientific experiment has reached a Scottish island a year after it was dropped into the sea in Iceland.

Two devices fitted with GPS trackers were released from a helicopter off the south coast of Iceland.

Both floated west and passed the coast of Greenland, then headed towards Canada before crossing east across the North Atlantic.

One was found on Tiree and the other is in the sea off the Western Isles.

The devices' journeys could be tracked on a website set up by an Icelandic TV science programme which was available to the public.

The experiment was designed to highlight to the show's young viewers how rubbish dropped in the sea does not disappear but becomes a problem for people living on coastlines in other parts of the world.

Image caption Islander Rhoda Meek found the device on the east coast of Tiree
Image caption Rhoda Meek found the device on a beach in Tiree

Rhoda Meek found the device that washed on the east coast of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides after being alerted to the possibility of a message in a bottle being there.

She told BBC Alba: "I went out expecting to look for an actual bottle.

"I saw a bright yellow float sitting on the rocks and, following my natural curiosity, found that this was the 'bottle'."

Ms Meek said she would have loved to have had the device as a souvenir on her mantelpiece, but has carefully wrapped it up and posted it back to Iceland.

The second device is still floating in the North Atlantic off the west coast of the Western Isles.

The Icelandic scientists hope to extract data from the devices, which were fitted with GPS equipment usually used to track the movements of birds.

They had expected the devices to wash up in Norway.

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