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Toys Lost at Sea Need Outside Intervention

In 1992, a cargo ship left Hong Kong, bound for the U.S. While in route, the ship hit rough seas, and several shipping containers were washed overboard and lost at sea. One of the lost shipping containers held 28,000 plastic bath toys—rubber ducks, turtles, and frogs. The container broke open, and the toys were set free into the Pacific. From there, they began to travel.

A few lucky ducks landed in Hawaii, some made shore in Alaska, others beached in South America, Australia and the Pacific Northwest. The plastic toys have been found frozen in Arctic ice. Others made their way to Scotland and Newfoundland, in the Atlantic.

There are also some 2,000 plastic toys that still bob around in the North Pacific Gyre—a vortex of currents which stretches between Japan, southeast Alaska, Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands. The churning gyre holds a floating, plastic trash heap about the size of Texas.

Even 20 years later, some of the rubber ducks still break free of the gyre's grasp. It occasionally happens—a 20-year-old rubber duck washes up on the Alaskan shore. But it doesn't just happen and the ducks don't set themselves free. Instead, it takes something external—a shift in the wind, a storm that blows across, marine life that bumps a duck out of the current. If not for an outside influence, the ducks would stay trapped in the floating trash heap.

Possible Preaching Angles: The Need for Salvation—We, too, are trapped in our human condition, lost and circling in the clutches of sin. Left to ourselves, we are doomed to circle in this state forever …. Unless something—or Someone—intervenes to set us free.

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