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Lobster trap tag from US vessel found on English beach

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A plastic identification tag from a lobster trap that was aboard a vessel that sank off the coast of Massachusetts in 2003 has been found on a beach in southwestern England. The tag was recently recovered by a volunteer from Friends of Portheras Cove, which conducts beach cleanups in Cornwall, England, The Newport Daily News reported in a story posted online Thursday.

That's more than 3,000 miles from where the 65-foot lobster boat, Holly & Alexander, went down in 2003 near Nantucket. Delia Webb, chairperson of the volunteer group, contacted the Rhode Island newspaper, which helped put her in touch with Bill Palombo, the Newport-based owner of the boat.

“We face the Atlantic, so we get a lot of American and Irish flotsam,” Webb said in a telephone interview. ”We collect it to show students the flow of the ocean currents and how pollution can last in the ocean for years."

The tag has the vessel's name, a serial number and the owner, in this case W.R. Palombo. Palombo said he was not surprised that one of the tags ended up in Cornwall, since the ocean currents travel in that direction. He also notes that all four members of the Holly & Alexander's crew survived.

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