Message in a Bottle from Michigan Found on Gulf Coast

message in a bottle

This is a cool story and also probably a good lesson in why you shouldn't just throw random stuff into the water. Because it will travel a lot further than you think.

Back in 1995, a 24-year-old guy in Michigan finished up a bottle of whiskey and threw it in Lake Michigan, with a note sealed inside. Over the Memorial Day weekend, that bottle was found on Santa Rosa Beach, on Florida's Gulf Coast. That's 1,100 miles from Frankfort, Michigan, where the bottle was first thrown into the water. It had probably traveled much further, most likely down the Mississippi River.

The message in a bottle said:

"Hello, June 16, 1995, Frankfort, Michigan, I've tossed this bottle into the water to bring joy to anyone who finds it, this whiskey bottle was full a few short hours earlier, if you find this call me, and I’ll buy you a drink."

Gary Henrickson spotted the bottle going by while he was in the water and grabbed it. After reading the note, he texted the phone number that was included and reached the now 49-year-old man who'd sent it. I think being able to reach the sender so easily is impressive all by itself, because the bottle was thrown into Lake Michigan before phone numbers were portable and before everyone had a cell phone. If you changed providers, you had to get a new phone number. The two have stayed in touch since the discovery, but there's no word if the promised drink has been purchased yet.

This isn't even the only message in a bottle story from the past week, although it's the story closest to home. While digging for this blog post, I learned about another message in a bottle that had been thrown into the sea some 50 years ago. The 13-year-old who sent that message was traveling by boat to Australia and had been looking for a pen pal when he threw the note overboard. Five decades later, young Jyah Elliott found the bottle on a beach in South Australia. The sender was Paul Gilmore, who's alive and well and is actually taking a cruise at the moment. Clearly, he enjoys being at sea.

And last year, the world's oldest known message in a bottle was found in the state of Western Australia. It was 132 years old.


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