Ireland is a magical place. While leprechauns and fairies might not be real, one look at the verdant country and you’ll understand why stories of them run rampant there. People are used to the otherworldly on the Isle of Erin, which is why it’s not surprising it’s a land with a passion for telling stories and solving mysteries.
When mystery object rapidly approached Irish shores, the locals were confused by the sight. After the Coast Guard launched an investigation into its origins, however, they at first only turned up questions and farfetched tales fit for a Leprechaun-filled storybook…
Through the gray skies and heavy mists cloaking Ireland and its coast one day in 2016, people noticed a mysterious object floating in the water just offshore. It looked like it was on a collision course with the rocky eastern shores.
Concerned what the object might be — and if it was manned — onlookers called the authorities to come and check it out. The floating object looked utterly defenseless as it was tossed around by the rough waves that rolled ashore.
As witnesses waited for the Coast Guard to come, the object moved closer. It appeared that it was some sort of floating vessel. The shape was odd though. Ships didn’t usually take on such a long, flat look.
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The Coast Guard had arrived on scene just as perplexed as the witnesses who called them over. Upon closer look, the Coast Guard thought the vessel appeared to resemble more of a caravan than a boat.
Still, the Coast Guard boarded the boat to check if there were any stranded passengers. To their surprise, the boat was completely empty. It looked like it was big enough for someone to live in, but there were no personal belongings on board.
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Additionally, operatives stated this boat was the strangest find they have ever come across on the job. The vessel didn’t even look sea-worthy, but here it was, washed up from some unknown origin.
Where had it come from? The exterior was beaten up from its potentially long journey; some solar panels were intact, others were missing. The windows had all been smashed by the relentless sea, and broken boards laid in shambles throughout the interior.
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This left the Coast Guardsman with many questions. Were there any passengers? Where are they now? And who owned this boat? Searching for answers, they saw a strange message written on one of the interior walls.
The message contained a name that might help authorities solve the mystery that surrounded this strange occurrence. The name was Rick Small. It was probable that he had something to do with the construction of this oddity.
Authorities began to investigate Mr. Small’s origins and were even more confused when they found out he wasn’t from Ireland. Sources suggested Rick was actually from the eastern coast of Canada somewhere in Newfoundland!
It turns out that Rick is a huge environmentalist and advocate for alternative energy. Solar energy is an alternative energy he likes to play with. He had previously built a solar-powered bike.
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He wanted to shed light on alternative energies and promote clean energy for the future. He planned to ride his solar bike across the country from the province of British Columbia on the west coast to the island of Newfoundland on the east coast.
The entire trip took him 114 days with over 4,000 miles traveled. It wasn’t an easy feat because his bike only reached 17 miles per hour, and if it rained or was cloudy, he had to stop when the bike’s solar energy ran out.
But he wasn’t going to stop with a bike. He also wanted to build a solar-powered boat. The boat was not only going to promote solar power, but he wanted to make the boat livable for himself.
His next stunt would include him sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in his solar-powered vessel. He built the boat out of lumber and a general-purpose plastic called polystyrene. When finished, the boat was 20 feet long.
Prior to embarking on his solar-powered quest, he told the Canadian Coast Guard about his plan. To no surprise, they didn’t advise he use his boat, as it wasn’t equipped to handle the deep ocean. Rick feared they were right and decided to do something else with his boat….
Grabbing a sharpie, he wrote this message on his solar boat: “I, Rick Small, donate this structure to a homeless youth. To give them a better life that Newfoundlanders choose not to do! No Rent, no mortgage, no hydro.” He wanted to give it to someone who is struggling.
It’s unclear after that how the boat ended up in Ireland, but the likely reason would be that it somehow got detached from the dock, perhaps by a storm that blew through. From there, it freely drifted along the Atlantic, for more than 2,000 miles, until it reached the shores of Ireland!
The beached boat became a tourist attraction as news of its origins and Rick’s generosity to the homeless youth of Newfoundland spread. Everyone was astonished that his boat really did make it all the way across the Atlantic.
Since 2016, Irish authorities have been trying to track down Rick in hopes that he will claim what is his, but there hasn’t been any luck, since he mostly lives off the grid. Until then, the Irish authorities are keeping the solar-powered boat in storage hoping that Rick will hear of its infamous journey.