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Rubber Duckies Find A Way Home

rubber duck

AVON, Mass. -- July 14, 2003 -- It's a boat, it's a buoy, it's a... RUBBER DUCK?! Beachgoers in New England may be spotting more than shells on the shore this summer. Any day now, a flock of rubber ducks could waddle their way onto area beaches.

The ducks have had a long journey. More than a decade ago, a container holding 29,000 of America's favorite bathtub toys fell off a cargo ship during a North Pacific storm. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a retired oceanographer, has been tracking the plastic playthings from Hawaii to Alaska, through the Bering Strait and Arctic waters and now into the North Atlantic. According to Ebbesmeyer, some of the ducks are due to come ashore in New England, Canada and Iceland at any moment.

Avon, Massachusetts-based The First Years, Inc. - a leading maker of infant and toddler care, feeding and play products, including the famed rubber ducks - is planning to welcome the flock home with open arms. Anyone who finds one of the ducks (see image above) is encouraged to call The First Years' Parents Service Center at 1-800-317-3194.

Once The First Years confirms the authenticity of the duck(s) sighting, the discoverer will receive a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. The First Years also will report the duck discoveries to oceanographer Ebbesmeyer, who will incorporate the data into his studies seeking to better understand the earth's ocean currents.

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