Thursday, March 14, 2013

Miss Tenerife falls off the world's largest message-in-a-bottle

You have never seen a baptizing like this before!
Explorer launches the world's largest message-in-a-bottle

 Bewildered spectators pinched themselves in disbelief when a bright yellow 26 feet and 2,5 ton message-in-a-bottle was baptized by the Norwegian explorer Jarle Andhøy in Tenerife yesterday. The unique project is the offspring of the unlikely alliance between the Norwegian soft drink Solo and the owner of Koeningsegg super cars. When released to the ocean currents next week, people all over the world can follow the high-tech phenomena's crossing of the Atlantic live on Facebook.

- If you're not sailing the big blue yourself - you can follow it online and track the adventure that way. Truth be told, if you encountered this bottle in the middle of the Atlantic you would guess it was just an illusion, says Jarle Andhøy who is the godfather of the expedition and well known for his controversial oceanic voyages on the sailboat Berserk.
- In our 79 year history this is the most spectacular project we have done, and that is why we have taken all kinds of safety measures. The bottle will be towed 200 nautical miles off the coast before it's released and it is equipped with the required navigation lights for a drifting object in international waters, it has Automatic Identification System, radar reflector and tracking technology. It will be monitored continuously and if needs be, we will use a tugboat to get it safely ashore wherever it ends up, says Joakim Sande, CEO of Solo.
But no safety feature could help Miss Tenerife, Sady Chavez Diaz (21), as she slipped and fell off the bottle and into the cold ocean during a photo shoot just after the baptizing.
- That wasn't my idea. It was a good thing that lifeguard was there, because I was told she couldn't swim, adds Sande.

Head turner of the year
Inside the giant bottle is lots of Solo and a fitting 12 square meter personal letter to the finder.
- We believe Solo is the best soda in the world, but unfortunately not enough people outside of Norway have had the chance to experience it yet. Deciding who should be the lucky ones to get a taste was too heartbreaking, so we decided to leave it to the ocean currents, says Joakim Sande. Wherever the bottle ends up, we will fly in with more Solo - and throw a party! says Sande.
The baptizing gathered a curious crowd of onlookers, even busloads of Norwegian tourists had found the way to the picturesque Marina San Miguel, Tenerife.
- The bottle is quite the head turner, all morning was spent answering questions about what it was, where it was going and if someone would actually travel inside it, Sande laughs.
- I’m assuming it ends up somewhere in the North Caribbean. But then again, maybe it will follow the wake of Thor Heyerdahl's RA-expedition to Barbados. It’s really just a wild guess and nature can be unpredictable, I just know that the canary current pushes west on these latitudes, says Jarle Andhøy.
Columbus set out from the Canaries to discover America in 1492, and the island of Tenerife was where Norwegian icon Thor Heyerdahl spent his last years, making it the perfect location for the ambitious project.

High-tech bottle
On Solos Facebook page everyone can track and guess exactly where the bottle will end up. The winner will receive one bottle of Solo per nautical mile the bottle has drifted, which could amount to 3-4.000 bottles if Andhøy’s guess comes through. There is no sure bet as to how far the bottle's journey will take.
- Someone will be very popular in their neighborhood this spring or this summer, at least in the fall or next winter or spring…oh well, you get the drill, says Joakim Sande.
Bård Eker, the co-owner of such speed-related companies as Hydrolift, Koenigsegg and Eker Design Group, has been in charge of creating giant bottle which is actually registered as a boat. It has state-of-the-art solar panels, satellite-connection and GPS-technology. A 140-liter fresh water tank with remote controlled nozzles will clear the lenses of the custom made camera which will upload a picture every 8 hours.
Let's be frank – it’s the greatest bottle ever made.

The launch happened at Marina San Miguel, Tenerife, close to the Amarillo Golf Resort on Wednesday the 13th of March at 11.30am.
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