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Things you find on beaches

Rockpooling, surfing, building sand castles – all things you might find yourself doing on the beach. But what about finding Lego? Although it happened 17 years ago, there’s been a popular story this week about pieces of Lego washing ashore on beaches in Cornwall. On the 13th February 1997, the Tokio Express container ship was hit by a wave, tilting the ship and resulting in the loss of 62 containers about 20 miles from Lands End. The ship had been bound for New York. Shortly afterwards, various pieces of lego began to wash up on the beaches of Cornwall, and they’re still being found today. The cargo included:

  • Toy kits - Divers, Aquazone, Aquanauts, Police, FrightKnights, WildWest, RoboForce TimeCruisers, Outback, Pirates
  • Spear guns (red and yellow) - 13,000 items
  • Black octopus - 4,200
  • Yellow life preserver - 26,600
  • Diver flippers (in pairs: black, blue, red) - 418,000
  • Dragons (black and green) - 33,941
  • Brown ship rigging net - 26,400
  • Daisy flowers (in fours - white, red, yellow) - 353,264
  • Scuba and breathing apparatus (grey) - 97,500
  • Total of 4,756,940 Lego pieces lost overboard in a single container
  • Estimated 3,178,807 may be light enough to have floated

A quirky story this might be, the but unfortunately the Lego could be deadly to wildlife whilst it’s in the sea. So, whilst you’re on holiday this year, why not take part in the 2 minute beach clean? It’s exactly what it says on the tin – spend 2 minutes picking up as much rubbish as you can. You can find out more here: Or, if you’d like to find out more about how you can help head over to the Marine Conservation society -

Emily Morrey-McGrath


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