Sweetest Story Ever: Message in a Bottle Crosses the Atlantic

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In a time of super fast email and telephone calls, it was a message in a bottle that succeeded in bringing two people from very different countries together.

The bottle was set afloat by a Florida high school student, Corey Swearingen, as part of his marine science class in April 2009. The bottle followed the current for 16 months before eventually washing up on the shore in the small fishing village of Kilbaha, County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland. A 17-year-old boy, Adam Flannery, and his father Stephen found the bottle during a family holiday there. Rather than rely on the tides again with their own message in a bottle, they responded via email to the letter, which had urged the reader to write with details of the bottle’s location.

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Ethan Hall, the marine science teacher in Florida, said he’d repeated the exercise with several classes over the years, but had never had such astonishing results: “I’ve had bottles go as short as a couple miles up the coast. Many around Georgia, the Carolinas and such.”