A 44-YEAR-OLD message in a bottle has finally been found – after travelling just a mile a year up Scotland’s north east coast.
The note, unearthed by an Australian couple visiting Rattray Head in Aberdeenshire, was sealed inside a green Williams and Humbert bottle.
It was thrown into the sea 44 miles away at Cove Bay in Aberdeen in 1971 by 14-year-old Raymond Davidson, who admits he subsequently “forgot all about it”.
Sean and Shelley Thomas, who live in Brisbane, found the bottle at the bottom of a sand dune just 44 miles up the coast, and cracked it open to reveal the message.
It reads: “This bottle was thrown in the sea at Cove, Aberdeen, on 15/1/71 by Raymond Davidson (14yrs).”
It also includes an address in Carlisle, Cumbria, and a plea to “please contact” if found.
Shelley uploaded a picture of the note onto Facebook, and her post has since been shared over 50,000 times.
Luckily Raymond, who is now 58 and still lives in Carlisle, heard about the message and has since confirmed it is his.
“When I was growing up I would always visit my grandparents up in Aberdeen,” he said.
“They lived in a very interesting part of the world and I would usually be out exploring, I’ve got many happy memories from being up there.
“To be honest, I don’t really remember why I decided to put a message in a bottle, but it’s great that someone has found it. I had forgotten all about it.
“It hasn’t really got far has it – the couple should have taken it back to Australia and pretended they found it on a beach over there.”
Shelley said: “We went for a walk along the sand dunes, and it was just at the bottom of one of them hidden under a couple of other bottles.
“My husband was having a bit of a poke around as he actually collects bottles and stuff at home, and we noticed that one of them had something inside it.
“We cracked it open, and there you go.”
She took to Facebook to thank everyone for their efforts in locating the writer of the note.
She said: “Thanks to everyone who has shared, liked, commented and generally helped track down our message owner.”
She added that she “couldn’t wait” to speak to Raymond over the phone before she and husband Sean head back home on Sunday.
Earlier this year, a different message put to sea in a bottle off the coast of Scotland was found washed up over 3,000 miles away in New York.
42 years ago, Scottish fisherman John Souter flung an old Hay’s lemonade bottle off his boat with a note containing his name, address and date.
It was found by Michael Scholz, a German tourist who was visiting Jones Beach in New York, who posted it back to John’s address in Lossiemouth, Moray.