Updates:

3rd Voyage

The Red Storm was thought to be launched by the Maine Maritime Academy sometime in 2016, but without its GPS receiver.  Then,  in the spring of 2018, it was confirmed that the boat was still on the ship!  For whatever reason, it was not deployed.

May 14, 2018

Finally, the 3rd voyage of the Red Storm  began on May 14, 2018. Deployed off the training ship the State of Maine on their voyage to Spain by Chief Mate Brendan McAvoy (pictured to the right). Follow the cruise blog at https://mainemaritime.edu/tssom-training-cruise-blog/.

May 16, 2018 – from the Cruise Blog

Day 10: Mini Boat Launch. Posted on: May 16, 2018

The clouds have returned…but we are still making strong headway across the Atlantic Ocean and are one day closer to our first port of call – Cadiz, Spain. Last night we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset relaxing on the 04 weather deck and fantail. Despite the lack of sunshine, it is still very warm and humid outside the skin of the ship. Today we mixed up the daily routine a bit and launched a school sponsored project that researches the effects of wind and current. The craft, Red Storm, sponsored by the Scarborough School District was cast adrift at approximately 1430 local time (~1630Z / Greenwich Mean Time) in position Latitude: 38-45.3N / Longitude: 047-26.6W. We wish her a bon voyage. You can track Red Storm’s progress at http://educationalpassages.org/boats/redstorm/.


Aug 10, 2018

A few months later, the Red Storm made a close approach to the French coast. An email alerted our colleagues at IFERMER and elsewhere of the potential landfall but, the following day, the little vessel veered north towards the coast of England.

Aug 18, 2018

After heading up the English Channel for another week, she finally came ashore in Sussex, England near the Seaford Head Nature Reserve. Unfortunately, this is a section of the coast filled with high cliffs and, while we contacted the reserve hours after landing, we are not sure if a rescue will be possible before the following tide.

Aug 20-22, 2018

With help from Marie Martin, a miniboat enthusiast in France, we were able to contact Sue Davies, the Reserves Administrator, who recruited her staff for the rescue mission. The next day, Sam Roberts and Nikki Hills found and recovered the boat. Sam reports, “We’re happy to say that we found Red Storm at around 2.00pm yesterday, pretty much at the location of the last GPS ping. We were worried the high tide in between may have taken it back out to sea, or further down the coast, but it was in a small cove within the chalk cliffs – and thankfully a very easy spot. The other good news is that my colleague Nikki Hills who actually spotted the craft just happens to be the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Learning & Engagement Office at Seaford Head, a role which involves liaising and working with schools & the local community to engage them in environmental education, and reconnect them with their local marine environment. She’ll be best placed to take the boat to one of her partner schools when term time starts in September, and can work with them in the next stages of Red Storm’s voyage.”

With Nikki and others involved, it looks like the Red Storm is in good hands and is about to enter the classroom once again and get ready for another adventure in its long multi-legged voyage.

Back home in Maine, the little boat is making news.

October 2018

Andrea Keith, Head Teacher of Cradle Hill Community Primary School (back row left) and Nikki Hills, (back row right) with year three pupils and the Red Storm miniboat.

The Red Storm is now at the Cradle Hill Community Primary School in Sussex and was featured in the Argus.

2nd Voyage

Red Storm was put back to sea and next made landfall in Lacken, Co. Mayo where it was located by two pupils from our school (Mikey and Liam Sweeney) and their father (Sean). Sean Sweeney, a parent from our school community, had heard about the boat when visiting his native Arranmore and had been tracking its progress. He noticed that it had appeared to come to land again around Lacken. He and his sons, Mikey and Liam, searched Kilcummin Strand on Saturday, 2 April but to no avail. They checked the satellite again that night and narrowed the location down to a stretch of beach that appeared difficult to access. They located a right of way on Google Maps that would lead them down to that beach and headed off the next morning to try again. Sure enough, they found Scarborough Red Storm.

Mikey and Liam brought their find back to Behy National School to show their classmates. We have enjoyed studying the items placed in this capsule by the schools in Maine and Arranmore. We have added a USB key containing the following items from our school:

  • A copy of our recent film festival. Our school has a strong interest in film-making and recently held our fifth film festival. The films shown are on the DVD as well as some clips from films made by our Film Club over the last 5 years. The films were shot on the school grounds and all around this locality so would give anyone interested some insight into where we live.
  • Some stories about our school and area by 6th class children.
  • Some photos of the school and area.
  • A copy of our Children’s Proclamation. This year was a special year in Ireland, the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, which was a major event on our road to independence. The leaders of the Rising created a Proclamation, declaring the kind of Ireland they would like to live in. Schools were invited to create their own similar proclamations as part of the commemorations and that is what we have included.
  • A newspaper clipping from The Western People about Scarborough Red Storm landing in Lacken.
  • A picture of Mikey & Liam Sweeney with Mikey’s classmates.

Patrick Cunnane, a teacher at Behy National School, is organizing sending Red Storm to Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland where it will be relaunched by The Maine Maritime Training Ship. For more information about Behy National School, please visit their website.

1st Voyage

Scarborough Maine’s “Red Storm” was deployed on 6 Feb 2015 off Georges Bank by lobstermen on the F/V Gladys Elaine. It is shown below in calm seas, a test run prior to deployment. Courtney Graffius’s students hope she’ll make it across the ocean!

On 31 July 2015, less than six months after getting underway, she landed on the island of Arranmore on the northwest corner of Ireland! She was found by an Irish Language summer College with students ranging from 11 to 17 years. They had come to Arranmore Island from all over Ireland to improve their Gaelic, spoken Irish. We got a photo sent to us by Noel Gaughran showing a lot of Irish smiles. He notes that the boat will next visit the local public school when it opens in the Fall and plans are underway to relaunch.

A few weeks later, articles appeared in both the Irish Times (includes a video of the students dancing around the boat) and in the local Scarborough Maine paper (includes a photo of the students in Maine).