A MINIATURE boat washed up on the beach turned out to have come all the way from America.

Now children at a school near where it was found are learning all about its journey.

The little wooden vessel was discovered under the cliffs at Seaford Head.

Nikki Hills, from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, and her colleague Sam Roberts found it after being alerted by a woman in France who had been tracking its GPS system.

She traced Nikki’s number after discovering Seaford Head lies within Sussex Wildlife Nature Reserve.

Nikki said they then found information and clues inscribed on the boat in French, English, Portuguese and Spanish which helped her find a website which led her to a school in Maine, USA.

She discovered the 5ft craft had been launched by schoolchildren there in May and it had travelled 3,000 miles, eventually washing up on the Sussex shore.

Now Nikki has visited Cradle Hill Community Primary School in nearby Lexden Road, Seaford, to tell the Year 3 children about the boat’s journey and the American youngsters’ exploration project. She told the children: “I had an intriguing phone call saying a boat had landed at Seaford Head, asking if I could look for it.

“Sam and I eventually found it under the cliffs.”

The boat, Red Storm, only had a small sail and was moved along on its journey by the tidal currents.

It was sent on its way by Scarborough School in Maine as part of a project on world exploration and how communities evolve.

The boat was fitted with a GPS tracking system, allowing the American children to follow its whereabouts and update their website.

They were thrilled it survived the journey to Sussex waters and is now safely stored in an English school.

They have sent a parcel of presents to the Cradle Hill children, including pictures of marine wildlife typical of Maine along with photos of themselves.

They also asked questions, such as “What do you eat for dinner?” “Do you wear uniforms?” and “What’s the weather like there?”.

The Cradle Hill children are now working on their responses.

With Nikki’s help they will report back about local marine life, as well as creating their own list of questions.

The boat will remain at the primary school until its next adventure. Nikki said: “We’re excited to be planning the next stage of Red Storm’s journey, which is currently under discussion with everyone involved.”