On Stranger Tides | Mystery vessel washes up on Mayo shore

A peculiar wooden craft with an even stranger story has washed up on a Mayo beach yesterday.

Ballyglass Coast Guard were called out yesterday evening to check out a strange vessel that had been spotted washed up on the shore of Cross Beach, Belmullet in Mayo.

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Weird Wooden Vessel Spotted by a person walking on the Beach in Belmullet on Sunday

Malin MRSC had been alerted to the vessel after it was spotted by a member of the public while they were out walking.

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The shipbuilder’s hopeful declaration Helping a homeless youth

It turns out the curious vessel was to be a gift to a homeless person in Canada. Inside on the wall there’s a message from its creator, Rick Small, offering the vessel up to a ‘homeless youth’. 

Small built the floating home in Conception Bay Newfoundland last year. He used inexpensive lumber and stuffed it with insulation foam for flotation then sealed the seams with tar. He even installed solar panels which power a small electric motor. Small wanted to provide a home for a person he felt had been let down by the (Newfoundland) system.



Small intended to sail it home to British Columbia via the North West passage but only made it as far as Portugal Cove where he eventually abandoned it.

This is not the first time Small has made the news – last year he gained much media attention in Canada when he rode his solar powered three wheeled bike from British Columbia to Newfoundland.

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From Canada to Ireland A long way from home

How exactly Small’s curious vessel managed to survive drifting out from the Canadian coast, travel several thousand miles across the Atlantic and wash up on the shore in Co Mayo is still a mystery.

Ballyglass Coast Guard has now secured the vessel and intend to remove it today.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22