A toy pirate ship launched by two young brothers from Aberdeenshire, Scotland has sailed the high seas to Scandinavia. It is now braving the rough seas of the southern Atlantic in a bid to make it all the way to the Americas

Ollie Ferguson, eight, and Harry, five, from Turriff, first launched their Playmobil ship from Peterhead at the end of May 2017. The boys had wanted to do a version of the classic sending a message in a bottle, and their parents came up with the idea of sending off a plastic Playmobil pirate ship instead.

The ship, named Adventure, needed some adaptations before it was ready to tackle the North Sea. A counterweight was added to help it stay upright and it was filled with polystyrene to help it stay afloat.

After trials in Tarlair open air swimming pool, they took it to the coast and launched it into the waves.  It carried a message asking anyone who found the boat to return it to the sea after recording where they found it.

It traveled 390 miles to Denmark where it was picked up by a family, who contacted the Fergusons via Facebook with photos of them with the boat before returning it to the sea.

From there, it traveled to Sweden where it found its way into a tree, found by a woman in her boat who did some running repairs before setting it off on yet another voyage, this time to Norway.

The story attracted interest from media all over the world and they boys have enjoyed a few brief moments of celebrity status, with tv appearances and radio interviews.


Following the media frenzy the family were approached by the Christian Radich, a Norwegian full-rigged ship, who offered to carry Adventure out of the North Sea to explore new waters.

The Christian Radich carried Adventure 3,000 miles south to the southern Atlantic Ocean. They undertook running repairs and replaced the sails and rigging damaged in the North sea crossing. The actual repairs were undertaken by crew members that had helped restore the Cutty Sark, so she was in capable hands.  

They released it 100 miles of the coast of Mauritania, the goal is for it to make it across the Atlantic west to the Americas.

Predictive technology specialists, OPEX Group, kindly offered to sponsor a GPS tracker so we could follow Adventure on the next stage of its journey.  Working with the teams at YB Tracking and DDK Positioning the tracker will ping coordinate data once a day via satellite allowing us to track the ship as it makes its way unassisted westwards. OPEX’s team of data scientists will use their skills to predict the likely course of the ship by using tidal data and other factors.  

You can keep up to date with Adventure's current location using the map on the home page.

Visit our picture gallery to see images of the Adventure.