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From Russia to Louisburgh

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INTRIGUED Darragh Walsh holds his discovery.

Louisburgh pupil Darragh discovers Russian ‘message in a bottle’

Ciara Galvin

A SIXTH Class pupil in Louisburgh NS discovered a mystery ‘message in a bottle’ while taking part in National Beach Clean-Up day recently.
Darragh Walsh was helping to clean up Carramore beach when he happened upon a small tube in the sand dunes. The three centimeter tube had the words ‘LETTER INSIDE’ printed on it, along with words in Russian.
“My class were so excited and intrigued by the find and were asking lots of questions and coming up with some quite far-fetched stories about the tag, where it came from and what the letter inside might say,” explained class teacher Fiona Duffy.
After studying the message in the classroom, Ms Duffy brought it home to her husband, a commercial diver and fishing enthusiast.
“The hilarious thing is when I looked at it [the tag] it said Lowestoft … My husband is English and he’s from Lowestoft, it’s just a complete coincidence.”
Fiona discovered that her husband had previously been on a school tour to Lowestoft Laboratory at The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).
Making contact with Gary Burt from the laboratory, they were told that the tag that Darragh had found had probably been attached to a cod and released in Russia in the early 1970s and that it would have become detached from the fish a long time ago.
He explained that the tag had probably been released by the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, Murmansk in northwest Russia, in collaboration with CEFAS in the UK.  
The Sixth Class students found it very entertaining that the reward for finding the tag was all of £6. Nowadays, CEFAS use electronic tags that record temperature and depth and rewards are in the region of €100.
The class were informed that a similar tag had previously been discovered by a Norwegian schoolgirl while on a school trip in the northern cape of the country in 2005.
“Darragh was so happy to find this, and the whole class is just intrigued. We’ve done some research, and we’ve looked at where in Russia the tag could have been released. We got the email address of a Russian man who was involved in it as well,” explained the teacher, adding that the whole class are really interested to find out more about the tag and the project.

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