Couple finds wooden boat launched by class 27 years earlier

Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A couple who found a small wooden boat on a Wisconsin beach discovered the tiny vessel had been placed in the water 27 years earlier by a second-grade class.

Lynn and Mike BeBeau said they visited a remote beach in Lake Superior's Apostle Islands and noticed something brightly colored buried in the sand about 20 feet from shore.


"I thought it might have been a net buoy or a net float that had broken loose from a commercial fisherman's boat or something but when I dug it out and then kind of washed it off, I was really surprised and I thought 'this is really cool,'" Mike BeBeau told KBJR-TV.

The object, a small wooden boat, had a message printed on the bottom: "I am traveling to the ocean. Please put me back in the water."

The boat also bore the address of Lakewood Elementary school in Duluth, Minn.

The couple contacted the school and learned the boat had been placed in the water by Bonnie Fritch and Brenda Schell's second-grade class in 1993.

"Brenda had a friend that made the boats and we had our class paint them, and at the end of the year we would take a trip around Duluth to go to Enger Tower and all that and we went to Brighton Beach to let the boats go with our class," Fritch said.

Fritch said she had been contacted one other time in the past by someone who found the boat a few years earlier.

"It was somewhere up on the Northshore, like Beaver Bay, and the people who found it put another coating on it to help preserve it and set it back in the water," Fritch said.

The BeBeaus said they placed the boat back into the water to continue its journey.

"We like to just find remote places and just see what we discover and this was by far the coolest discovery by far," Lynn BeBeau said.

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