36 Years Ago, A Man Sent A Message In A Bottle - Finally Washed Up

We’ve all done things when we were younger that we never give a second thought to again. For example, scrawling down a simple note that says ‘so and so was here’ at a particular landmark is pretty normal behavior, but some folks enjoy the challenge of seeing if they can get their message to travel. As in scrawling out a quick note, stuffing it into a bottle, tossing it into the ocean and hoping for the best. Chances are, you’ll never think about it or hear about it again, but this amazing tale shows that’s not always the case.

As the Daily Mail shares, Doug Stephens did the old note in a bottle trick way back in 1981. He was a 20-year-old college kid that was on vacation in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and he decided to write out a note and stuff it in a beer bottle before sending it off to sea.

“This bottle was set adrift off Fernandina Beach, Florida on the 10th of June, 1981. To the finder, I would appreciate it if you would respond as to where, when and found by whom. My permanent address is as follows on the back. Thanks, Douglas H. Stephens,” the note read.

Amazingly, the bottle was recently found by Ryan Burchett, a 41-year-old from Brunswick, Georgia. He was doing a little fishing in Little St. Simons Island, Georgia, and he came across the bottle in the sand.

“I picked it up and held it up to the sun and I could tell it had a ceramic top on it which was cool looking. And I could see there a message in it and I was like, 'Holy smokes,'” he said. “I thought, 'Yeah I gotta reach out to this guy.'”

The address on the note was no longer valid, so Burchett asked SouthEast Adventure Outfitters tour agency for some help. They posted some photos on social media, and the pair would be in contact before the day was through.

“You're kind of in shock. When you throw these things out, nine times out of 10 you're never going to hear another thing,” Stephens said. “The length of time is what's stunning - 36 years.”

Stephens is right on the money there, and it’s also pretty stunning to think of the journey this bottle must have gone through. The island where it was found was more than 45 miles away from where Stephens had set it adrift. The pair has already made some plans to meet up later this summer so that Stephens can get his bottle back.

“Holy cow. It just brings back memories,” Stephens said.

He recalled that he was on vacation with his family at the time, and he was out fishing with his father and brother when he got the idea for the note. Stephens obviously never expected to see or hear about this thing again, but life has a crazy way of surprising you sometimes. This amazing tale is further evidence of that, and you can bet Stephens and Burchett will have a good laugh when they meet up.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: SouthEast Adventure Outfitters/Facebook

Burchett shared the message.

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