Mid Wales

US pupils' boat Carolina Dreamer found on Borth beach

Helen Hinks with her three children Emmi, aged five, William, aged three, and Phoebe, aged nine
Image caption Helen Hinks with her children Emmi, aged five, William, aged three, and Phoebe, aged nine

A toy boat set sail by American school pupils has been found thousands of miles away by a family in Ceredigion.

Helen Hinks, of Talybont, and her son William, aged three, discovered the boat while walking along Borth beach.

It had been launched by youngsters at St Andrew's School of Math and Science in Charleston, South Carolina, in May 2015 as part of a school project.

Ms Hinks said it was "magical" to find the boat nine months later, while the school said it was "over the moon".

Image caption A map of the route the boat took

The boat, named the Carolina Dreamer, had been fitted with a GPS tracker and had sailed for less than a week before washing up on Bermuda.

There, it was relaunched and although initially heading towards Ireland, it made a detour towards the west Wales coast - a journey of about 4,000 miles.

Pupils at St Andrew's had contacted Welsh harbour masters and marinas in the hope it had been sighted and rescued.

Explaining the moment they found the boat, Ms Hinks said: "I was waiting to pick my two daughters up from school and normally take my little boy to the beach if the weather's nice.

"We were looking across the waves when it literally sailed right to us. It was magical."

Image caption The boat had been battered by the sea and was missing parts

Ms Hinks said she did not realise the significance of the boat until seeing media reports a week later.

"When we contacted the school they were really excited. My children's school is hoping to relaunch it back to America," she said.

On hearing the news, St Andrew's pupil Paris said: "When I heard somebody had found our boat...I jumped up and down" while Dhyeya said: "Thank you for saving our boat, we appreciate it".

Fourth grade teacher Amy McMahon said: "We cannot tell you how excited and elated we are to hear that our beloved boat has been recovered and has found its way to a nearby school.

"We are over the moon."

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