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Surfers find decade-old message in a bottle

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Three local surfers were astounded to find a message in a bottle that has been adrift in the ocean for close to a decade.

Mohamed Hamza, Scott Rego and Jiri Heinz were enjoying a morning surf off Ariel Sands on Sunday when they saw a green glass bottle floating on the water at a spot known locally as Dunks.

Later that day they smashed it open and could decipher some words written in French including the author’s address and “November 2013” – the date it was dropped overboard from a boat off Cape Verde in the central Atlantic Ocean.

Bottled: From left to right: Local surfers Mo Hamza, Jiri Heinz and Scott Rego (Photograph set up by Jiri Heinz)

Mr Hamza told The Royal Gazette: “It was amazing – what are the chances?

“We were out catching the rising tide when we saw it – we asked Jiri to paddle out to get it and sure as hell there was a message inside.

“Jiri tucked it into his rash guard and we continued to surf for an hour and a half. After we had some lunch we had the opening ceremony at Jiri’s house.

“Jiri broke it open, Scott inspected it – the letter was wrapped in a piece of foil. We found out it was dropped overboard on a Sunday in 2013 – it has been adrift for almost ten years. Who knows how many times it had been around the Atlantic gyre without ever making landfall?

“We found the sender’s address, which is in France. There is more stuff but we want to have someone trace the faded writing and translate it from French.

“The name of the boat was L’Art De Mer. We are definitely going to send a postcard from Bermuda and a photo of us holding the bottle up.”

Mr Heinz said there was also a drawing on the letter of the African coast and the boat.

He added: “It was a great surprise. I would love to reach out. We took a photo of us all after the surf session when we were ecstatic. I would like to send the photo to the address – whether they still live there is a question.”

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Published July 05, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated July 05, 2022 at 7:49 am)

Surfers find decade-old message in a bottle

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