When 28,000 bath toys fell off a cargo ship in the pacific 20 years ago, they began an incredible journey. While some were washed up in British Columbia and Hawaii, countless others circumnavigated the globe. A fantastic voyage for some.

So what really happened? The part about containers falling off a ship pull you in, the great north pacific garbage patch maybe, or the fact that these brightly coloured plastic duckies crossing the arctic, going cheerfully where explorers had gone boldly and disastrously before.
The ducks had somewhat “escaped” and their journey had begun. Accompanied by their friends, the starfish, crocodile and turtle.

The ship that carried this escaping cargo, Evergreen Ever Laurel owned by a Greek company called Texhnomar Shipping, set sail from hong kong on the 6th January 1992. The animals freedom break took place on 10th January 1992.

At some point in hurricane weather the ship, a floating warehouse, weighing 28,904 deadweight tons and powered by a diesel engine the size of a barn, was tossed and thrown about the way a toy in a jacuzzi would be. The ropes holding the containers snapped and like falling dominoes, 8ft wide and 40ft long they slipped away from the ship and into the bubbling sea. The subsequent splash would have been terrific. Imagine a train driving off the end of a cliff and plunging deep into the sea below. During their fall the containers doors somehow opened, the sea engulfed the interior, the animals were set free and the container eventually sank to its resting place upon the sea bed.

They were free to start their voyage, but still the sea needed to work it’s magic. Although the animals were free from the container and were bobbing around on the ocean surface they were still trapped. They were still in their group of four huddled together inside a plastic bag, but not for long! The red beaver, blue turtle, green frog and yellow fish just needed to wait a further 24 hours before the glue sealing their plastic bag home would dissolve and they could be free. Free to roam and go in whatever direction they wished, or we’re taken. Slowly the hundreds, if not thousands, or bags began to open and free the brightly coloured animals. The view from above looking like bright confetti had covered the surface of the ocean they began to swim away.


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