At Ruth Lee, we export our range of manikins world-wide through a network of distributors, so we know they are very well travelled. However, we were surprised to receive an email and some photos from a commercial fishing company who found a very tired looking Ruth Lee Man Overboard Manikin off the coast of Flinders Island in Tasmania.
Flinders Island is a 1,367 square-kilometre island located in the Bass Strait, North East of Tasmania, Australia. The coast here has an abundance of marine life - including Great White Sharks! So although it is a beautiful place to enjoy a swim, it is not without risk!
From the photos, you can see that the dummy has been in the water quite some time – he even comes complete with barnacles.
The manufacture of this manikin allows us to estimate him to be between 2-3 years old and the light sticks attached suggest he could possibly be one we originally sold to the British Navy, although other marine workers do attach similar light sticks to their manikins too.
Clearly the manikin is an exceptional swimmer! The shortest route by sea from Tasmania to the UK is 10,869 miles! Either he has swum a very long way from his 'home' in the UK, or he belongs to a more local business, perhaps in Australia or New Zealand.