Marine / Research buoy retrieved from Fetlar beach after floating across the Atlantic

Jack after collecting the buoy.

A RESEARCH buoy which washed up in Fetlar after a lengthy trip across the Atlantic has been retrieved – and posted back to the US.

The buoy – used to track ocean currents – was recovered by Dave Sumner’s son Jack from a beach on the island earlier this month.

Dave read about the buoy washing up in Fetlar on Shetland News and got in touch with the US-based company which makes them.


The buoy was deployed off Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada in July last year after starting its journey in Maine. It is produced by US company Maker Buoy.

Its journey from Newfoundland to Fetlar covered more than 3,000 nautical miles.

The buoy, used for scientific purposes, has GPS tracking and satellite communications so its owner is able to pinpoint where it is.

Wayne Pavalko from the buoy company was able to track it from “where we picked it up right to our house”, Dave said.

It was sent back to the US from the Fetlar post office – with the cost of posting it “not too bad”.

Dave said it was a “bit of a scramble” to get to the beach in question, but “we didn’t have to rope in or anything like that”.

The buoy’s journey to Fetlar.