Belated Messages from the Sea

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Belated Messages from the Sea

I hoved the bottle into the sea

Otago Witness 30 November 1861 page 7

A slip of paper was found in a bottle some weeks ago, on the western coast of Uist, in the Hebrides, and forwarded to us by our agent at Stornoway. The paper, apparently the leaf of a pocketbook used in the hurray of the moment, was covered on both sides with pencil marks, from which the following was with difficulty deciphered: "On board the Pacific, from Liverpool to New York. Ship going down. (Great) confusion onboard. Icebergs around us on every side, I know I cannot escape. I write the cause of our loss that friends may not live in suspense. The finder of this will please get it published. Wm. Graham." The ship, Pacific, one of the Collins line of steamers, which vessel left Liverpool on January 23rd, 1856, three days before the Persia, and said has not since been heard of; and this slip of paper, three inches by two, is probably the only record of the fate of that missing ship. - Shipping and Mercantile Gazette.

The Daily Southern Cross 19 September 1863 pg2

Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 3
The following memorandum, enclosed in a bottle, was picked up by Captain Harris, of the Caroline, which arrived in Hobson's Bay during Wednesday night, with a cargo of guano from Cato Island, and was found on the Cato Bank:- "June 25th, 1863 - Prince Edward, of Auckland, Geo. Cook, master, 7 weeks from Bay of Islands, 80 sperm, 6 of blackfish. All well. - "Argus," August 26.

Wellington Independent 3 October, 1865 page 3 column c

A tightly-corked bottle has been picked up at Filey, which, on being broken, was found to contain a leaf torn  from a pocket-book, upon which, in pencil, well written, was the following:- : "January 23, 1865. - Dear Friends, - We are sinking; "Jan 23, 1865 - we are sinking, the pumps won't work, in lat. 35., long 19.30, Captain John Roberts, screw steamer Golden Eagle. Anybody picking this up is requested to take to the nearest magistrate." - Home News, July 26.

Arrived Wellington: 30 Oct. The barque Mandarin, 334 tons, Captain Hammond, anchored late on Saturday. She left Newcastle N.S.W. on the 16th ulto., Jan 24th 1889 Found at Southport. Yesterday Richard Marshall fisherman while walking the Southport shore found a tightly sealed bottle containing the following message: "The White Gull sinking off Isle of Mann, Nov 4th. Men Drunk. God help us! J. Tomlin, Captain." 

Message in bottle found in December 1865 said " Ketch Reindeer foundered at sea on October 3rd, bound from Auckland to Wanganui. Myself left out of four, Can just see Mt Egmont. John Spiers".

North Otago Times, 15 March 1866, Page 2

Long Journey of a Bottle Found at Sea. The "Moniteur" of New Caledonia, of 28th January, 1866, furnishes the following notice: "M. the Lieutenant Banare, commander of the Fine, during the hydrographic labors that he has just been executing in the north of New Caledonia, found in November, 1865, in a corked bottle in the north-west coast, the following note : 'Sunday, 20th November, 1864. The brig Louisa, on her way from Dunedin, Otago, to Sydney, eleven days at sea ; longitude, 165 degrees, 51 minutes east ; latitude, 37 degrees, 14 minutes south. On board a very slender supply of flour and other necessaries. John Austin, mate ; John Black, second mate. John Austin, mate, finding himself in a desperate condition, is thinking on the slices of roast beef he will eat when he arrives in Sydney." It is is worthy of remark that during the twelve months, from November, 1864, to November, 1865, this bottle was carried due north more than 1,100 miles.

The Timaru Herald Wednesday 13 February 1867

The Press of the 31st ultimo says:- On Tuesday, the 28th instant, Mr Dyer picked up a square bottle on the beach at Governor's Bay. On examination it was found to contain the following document, the original is now in the possession of Mr Ellisdon, London street, Lyttelton: "November 29, 1866 - The Sylph, barque, from Amsterdam, sinking fast, six feet of water in the hold. No one can find the leak; men all dead at the pumps. God save our souls. - HANS TROMP, Master." The document, which does appear to have suffered from salt water, was folded, and endorsed: - "Whoever finds this epistle, please send it to my family."

Otago Witness  25 January1868 page 3 column 1
Narrative of a Passenger from the wreck of the General Grant

About this time we sent off a small boat, in the hope that some vessel might pick it up, and thus learn our existence. We subsequently sent off another small boat, and at various times sent away the inflated bladders of the pigs and goats we killed, with a slip of wood attached to them. The boats were formed of a rough piece of iron so as to trim the little craft by the stern, to keep her before the wind - a short stout mast, with a tin sail, completed the little vessel. On the deck of the boat was carved the ship's name, date, and place of the wreck, number of survivors, and the date on which the boat itself was launched. The same particulars were also punched with a nail into the tin sail, and carved on the labels attached to the bladders. We also put the words "want relief" on the bows of the boats and on the sails and labels. Another boat and several bladders were ready to be sent adrift when we were taken off by the Amherst.

Daily Southern Cross, 8 November 1871, Page 2
A memorandum found in a sealed phial
 [A small glass vessel with a narrow aperture intended to be closed with a stopper; a vial ]

By the arrival of the mail steamship Nebraska we have been furnished, Mr. H. Craig, purser, with the following harrowing account of the sufferings of the crew and passengers of a wafer-logged brig, and the ultimate loss of thirteen souls from hunger and thirst. The particular have been supplied by the captain of the brig (the only man saved), who was picked up off the brig by the steamship Moses Taylor on her last voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu. The Nebraska arrived at Honolulu Oct. 21. She had fine weather and smooth sea all the way from New Zealand. At 7 a m on October 22, the Moses Taylor arrived at Honolulu, having left San Francisco on October 11. She reports as follows: � At 5.30 on October 19 sighted a sail bearing down, which turned out to be the remains of a water-logged brig. Sent a boat alongside in charge of the second officer, who reported all the bulwarks, except from the foremast forward, gone, and the sea washing all over the deck. Mr. Bedstone, now second officer of the Nebraska, went aloft, and found the crosstrees surrounded with canvas, and a quantity of fish in a sack ; when on the point of leaving the foretop to descend, he noticed an object crawl out from under some canvas spread over the forecastle. Upon descending, the first words he heard were, "My God, am I saved!" After calling the crew and searching for any other survivor, they left the wreck for their own ship with, as it proved, the captain of the brig. After receiving every attention and being sufficiently recovered, he related one of the most heartrending cases of hardship and suffering we have overheard of. He said : "My name is Luder Hopkin, master of the brig Shelchoff of San Francisco. I left San Francisco on June 23, with a cargo of lumber for Callao, and several passengers for Navigator Islands. Was waterlogged in a hurricane on July 3, lat. 16 N , and long. 117 W." The following was taken from a memorandum found in a sealed phial :� "Luder Hopkin, master, San Francisco ; F. Johnston, mate, Schleswig-Holstein; J. McCarty, 2nd mate, Port Patrick ; Phillip Dunn, steward, San Francisco ; Levedore Police, seaman ; Reborto Secilia, Italy ; Mitchell Velago, Calabria, Italy ; Andrew Larssen, Sweden ; Lona Lewis Hesson, seaman. ; Hensburg, Germany. Cabin passengers : Ashby Crane, San Francisco ; Charles Davis, San Francisco ; Charles Kurtz, Tubingen, Germany. New York papers please copy. Bartholomew Clarrell, native of Charleville, Department de Sardensie, France. � Written on board brig Shelchoff, Monday, September 10, 1871. We have suffered hard from hunger and thirst. Crew, passengers, and officers beg to send this to San Francisco, California, and published there in the papers " In the "Nautical Almanac" were found the following entries: "July � Cyclone; vessel water-logged. September 6� Andrew Larson died. September 18 Lewis Nissan died. September 22� Bartholomew Clarrell died, September 21� On the wreak 80 days ; 92 days from San Francisco; no rain; nothing to eat. September 30� We are on the wreck 89 days. Four (4) dead; please put this in the papers. Monday, October 16 � l05 days on the wreck, all hands dead except captain and one passenger� Crane." Captain Hopkin reports that a barque passed them sufficiently close for the survivors then alive (eight) to make out a lady on board with a red-and white shawl. He made all the signs he could with pieces of canvas waved by all hands from the foretop, but she took no notice, and squared away. After moving to the foretop they steered the ship with ropes while their strength lasted, and only came down on deck to catch fish that were occasionally washed on board. Crane, the passenger, lived until 24 hours before the Moses Taylor sighted the brig. Captain Hopkins kept life in by drinking his own urine, and had come down to the forecastle the day before he was taken off for the purpose of finding some bluestone which he knew was there to mix with the ink he had left to make poison, with which to take away his own life if possible : he found himself so weak, however, that he could not get back to the group where the remainder of the fish was. The only water the crew could save was by spreading out pieces of sheepskin to collect the dew at night, and sucking the wool every morning. When on board the 'Moses Taylor he would ask if he was really saved. He had dreamt so often of being taken off that he thought that he was still dreaming. Ink and bluestone he had already mixed, and lie intended to have taken it after he awoke from the sleep in which he was found by the men of the 'Moses Taylor.'

The Star May 28, 1873 page 2
A Good Shark Story

Within the past few weeks no fewer than three sharks, tow of them of large size, have been captured off the Scotch coast by fisherman. The first caught measured 11ft. in length. Its captors, have presented the carcase to the Dundee Museum. Here is an account of the discoveries made when its capacious maw was opened. A whole ling, considerably decomposed, first attracted attention; next a man's bonnet was picked up, and was eagerly seized by the crowd; parts of cod and dog fish, and clean bones, with the hind flaffers of a seal, were also found; and towards the close a soda-water bottle, corked and sealed with red wax, was discovered, with a note in it. The moment the bottle was seen it was seized and broken into atoms, the note taken out and read aloud to the wondering spectators. The note, which was in a lady's neat hand, read as follows:-

"On board the Beautiful Star, *Sunday, 1st Sept. 1872.
"We have cross'd the line, and all's well; 
Last night the captain's lady had a pretty little boy.
"Heaven less the little stranger,
Rock'd on the cradle deep;
Save it, Lord from every danger,
The angels bright their watch will keep.
Oh, gently soothe its tender years,
And so a'lay a parent's fears-
A father's love, a mother's joy;
May all that's good attend their boy."
The atoms of the bottle were carefully gathered up by the crowd.
Ship Beautiful Star, at present in Lyttelton. Captain Bilton of the ship states that the captain in command in 1872 had his wife on board, and she was confined as stated.

Otago Daily Times 8 November 1873, Page 2

On Tuesday last a hermetically sealed bottle was picked up on the Nile Mile Beach, Charleston, which contained a small slip of paper and a lock of hair. If genuine - and from the paper there is no reason to doubt it -it may be of some service to nautical men as illustrative of the peculiar set of ocean currents. The paper is some parts scarcely legible, and had the following inscription in it: This of hair cut off the head of Daniel Maham (or Mahar) by himself and whosoever doth find it is informed that it is his personal property. Ship Sussex off C. Horn, January 1st 1870." Westport Times, Oct. 31.

Timaru Herald Monday 27 June 1887 pg 2

During the voyage of the Patriarch, ship, which arrived at Sydney on the 30th ult., from London, a bottle containing a paper giving her name, number of days out, destination and position, was thrown over the side each day; and each paper also contained a request that the finder would report to some named authority.

Timaru Herald Friday 1 July 1887 pg 2

About a fortnight since, a bottle was picked up on the beach, near Lefory, Tasmania, which contained an envelope on which was written in pencil, "The ship Cambrian Monarch, of the Cambrian line, Liverpool, lost and hall hands, lat. 42 S., long. 135 E. R.R.G. Hinton, passenger." It will be observed that there is not date, and the question suggests itself, if all hands were lost, who wrote to tell of their fate. The Cambrian Monarch was last in this part of the world on Nov. 26 1886, when she left Newcastle for Negapatam, arriving there safely on Jan. 21; she is now on a voyage from Seringapanatam to London, having sailed on April 30. This is one of those senseless, utterly idiotic attempts at a hoax which are periodically perpetrated, and which occasionally have so far a foundation of possibility as to give rise to much sorrow and anxiety.

Timaru Herald Saturday 2 July 1887 pg2

On the 4th ult, a bottle was picked up on the beach, about twelve miles north of Cape Banks Lighthouse, South Australia, with a paper in it on which was written the following -
"S.S. Energia, from London to Sydney, New South Wales, May 23, 1886, 3 p.m. latitude 40 deg. 2 min. south, longitude 95 deg 56 min, east. Number of emigrants on board, 634; ditto crew, 66, total 690. All well. Experienced fine weather and westerly winds from Cape of Good Hope - L. Ralston Huxtable, M.B. surgeon; A. Child, master."

Timaru Herald Friday 16 September 1887

The Dunedin Evening Star has the following from its Auckland correspondent, dated Sept. 12th
A message from the sea has just turned up, and serves to show that Father Neptune is a rather dilatory postman. On Friday last a gentleman picked up an ordinary black bottle on the Manukau beach, about two miles from Muddy Creek, and finding it tightly corked and had some paper inside, he opened it and found the following message written on a piece of note-paper, which had been tightly rolled up and tied with a small strand of rope yarn:-
"April 28th 1869. This bottle was thrown overboard from the Duke of Edinburgh in latitude 42 deg S., longitude 160 deg E. Should this bottle be picked up, please report to the public Press in order that the set of stream currents may be determined. - Christopher Walsh, master. Bound to Newcastle, New South Wales. All well."
The position of the ship, when the bottle was thrown overboard, appears to have been midway between Tasmanian and New Zealand; but it is extremely doubtful if the experiment throws any light on the set of currents, as no one knows in what or how many directions the bottle may have travelled during the past eighteen years. When it was found the paper inside the bottle was very damp, having had no other protection than the ordinary cork.

Timaru Herald Wednesday September 1887

A Message from the Sea
(Per s.s. Tarawera at the Bluff)
The Perth (W.A.) correspondent of the Melbourne Age telegraphed on Sept. 19th that an albatross dropped dead on Sunday on the beach at Fremantle. On being inspected the bird was found to have a tin band round its neck, with the following message in French, punched upon it: - "Thirteen shipwrecked have taken refuge on the Crozet Islands, 4th August, 1887." The band was rusted, and the authenticity of the record is undoubted. It is believed here that the albatross was one of several sent away with messages of a shipwreck. Many wrecks have taken place off the islands, one of the most notable being that of the Strathmore in 1875.

The message was telegraphed [broken link] to the French authorities, who despatched the warship La Meurthe from Madagascar to the Crozets. The message had been attached to the albatross by the crew of the French sailing ship Tamaris, which was wrecked in the Crozets on 9th March 1887. The unfortunate seamen perished in an ill-fated attempt to reach nearby Possession Island, two months before the arrival, on 2nd December 1887 of La Meurthe.

Evening Post, 1 August 1888, Page 2

Sydney, This Day.
A paper enclosed in a sealed bottle found near Wollongong, south of Sydney, states that the barque Ocean, from Belfast, has been abandoned by the captain and crew. Ten of their number had perished.

Timaru Herald Saturday 31 August 1889

A huge halibut captured off Newfoundland, when opened was found to contain a lady's hand, on one of the fingers of which was a gold ring with the initials "G.W.G." engraved upon it.

Timaru Herald Saturday 7 September 1889

A bottle was found on the beach near Newcastle, New South Wales, containing a paper on which was written the following message:- "The Scottish Hero wrecked off Cape Verdie. All hands saved. - Captain Fraser." Hoax

Otago Witness Thursday 2nd January 1890 pg 32

A message from the Sea
The Missing County of Carnarvon
Wanganui, December 27
Mr Pinagon, a well known resident here, found on the beach, two miles from the heads, yesterday, a corked bottle containing the following pencilled message:-
Ship County of Carnarvon, September 3, 1889.
Anyone who should find this bottle will earn the dying blessing of three men, who do not expect to live an hour, by letting our friends and relations know out fate. We are sinking fast. All hands but us three were washed overboard last night. We were dismasted, and the binnacles and everything washed away by one sea. Every sea washes over the deck fore and aft. I don't know where we are, but by the skipper's reckoning at midday yesterday we were about 1000 miles from New Zealand. We have been sinking fast ever since the squall struck us. May God help us, for we may sink at any minute - George Wright. The other men with me are Vincent Wallace and James Kin

County of Carnarvon Official No. 76477. Crew list, Merseyside Maritime Museum, 1888.
Captain Robert ROBERTS  � Of Nevin CAE �County of Carnarvon� lost.

Evening Post, 21 December 1889, Page 2

The following telegram has been received by the Marine Department from the Collector of Customs at Nelson: Have received by letter from H. R. Hadfield, who states it was found in bandy bottle on beach at entrance Awaroa, a stained paper, with the following writing on it in pencil: 'Off Sydney, 10th Nov., 1889. Fishing boat Kate sinking : God help us,' on one side; and on the reverse, 'Captain Harris, four men, and cook.' "

 Evening Post, 19 March 1890, Page 2

Brisbane, 18th March. A bottle has been washed ashore containing a letter dated October last, stating that the barque Enby, Captain Mitchell, with a cargo of coal, was in a waterlogged condition, and her cargo on fire. 

Otago Witness, 16 April 1891, Page 15

A short time ago mention was made of the discovery of a message from the sea on the neck of an albatross shot on the beach at Freemantle (West Australia). The message was from the barque Sarah, a Nova Scotian vessel from Gothenberg. The barque has since reached Port Jackson, and the captain was surprised to learn on landing that his message had been carried to the Australian coast by the bird. The albatross, he states, was caught with several others on 21st February, and more for amusement than anything else, the captain had a piece of wood bearing the ship's name, with the latitude and longitude, fastened to its neck. The bird was then liberated, and though not noticed by those on board, must have followed closely in the vessel's wake, as on 5th March, the day the Sarah was abreast of Cape Leuwin (West Australia), the albatross made its appearance at Fremantle, and was shot by a resident, having travelled a distance of about 17deg of longitude. It seems remarkable that the albatross should have made for the Australian coast, and actually reported the ship 15 days before her arrival in port.

Otago Daily Times 14 July 1891, Page 1

By the return of the steamer Kahu to Lyttelton from the Chatham Islands news reaches us (says the Lyttelton Times) of the finding at the islands of more wreckage; and although there is on this occasion no evidence that another good ship has come to grief, still it goes to show that there is a possibility of such a disaster having taken place. The Chatham Islands may fairly be called a receptacle for the evidence of many vessels that come to grief on the Islands to the southward of New Zealand, as a strong current is known to set from the southward and westward towards the islands, which are situate about 400 miles from the New Zealand coast; and therefore happens that frequently wreckage may of taken a considerable distance and landed on the Chathams. Another instance of the existence of the current has just come to light. Some three week ago Miss Ritchie found oh the beach at the island a bright oak ship's bucket, with white hoops and the words "Cape York," in black letters. A medicine chest painted green, with the usual fittings, was also found close to the same spot. Upon a reference to the vessels trading in the Pacific during the past few months we find that a new ship of 2030 tons, called the Cape York, left Melbourne on April 9 for the Channel for orders with a full cargo of produce. She was commanded by Capt. Mitchell and her agents were Messrs F. W. Prell and Co. The bucket then undoubtedly came from this vessel but whether or not the has come to grief cannot a yet be ascertained. From Melbourne to England she would make the passage past the southern point of New Zealand, and it is just probable that in the heavy weather usually encountered in these latitudes she may have lost the bucket overboard. The current would account for its fetching land. The vessel is now 95 days out, and as far as we have bee able to acertain has not yet been reported. The story of the medicine chest is not by any means so clear, although, like the bucket, it showed signs of not having been in the water long. On thing is certain, if it came out of the same ship as did the bucket it would probably indicate something of a very serious nature having befallen the ship. The chest may belong to the Compadre, which was lost at the Aucklands a short time ago, and the crew of that ill-fated vessel would be able to place the point beyond question. On the eastern side of the Island, Captain Rome states, two large spars and large topmast were found. The spars had evidently come from some large vessel, and were such as would be carried deck as spare spars; indeed, this was no doubt the case, for attached to one of the spars were the lashings and the rests used in securing them to the vessel's deck and bulwarks. The topmast was all that of a large vessel. No name, or anything else to indicate to what boat they belonged, could found; but they had certainly been used by a large vessel.

Evening Post, 11 March 1893, Page 1

Very sad is the latest message from the sea, which recently reached Hull. It consists of a deal batten picked up the other day on the Yorkshire coast, and inscribed with these words, roughly written in pencil : " Whoever picks this up shall know that Caller Ou was run down by unknown steamer." This was on one side � probably at the beginning of a long message. On the other side were the words "Caller Ou run down by unknown steamer (Dawson). No more time. Sinking. May the Lord comfort my mother " The handwriting was identified as that of a lad named Dawson, belonging to Hull, who had sailed in the Caller Ou as an apprentice to the trade of the sea. Fourteen months ago (says the Daily News) the barque went out with coal to the Cape. She was driven back by rough weather to Grimsby, where she remained for a few days. Then she resumed her voyage, but she never reached her port. A bucket bearing her name was picked up on the coast of Holland nearly a twelve month ago ; but, until this last rude missive came to hand, the ocean and the agencies were silent as to her fate. The sea brought it to the very coast of Yorkshire, from which she sailed. All hands must have perished with the little apprentice boy, and, probably, no one will ever know where or when she went down. 'Full fathoms five," &c. or five hundred. What a picture for the mind's eye ! The boy scribbling his message, the ship going down, and the " unknown steamer " disappearing, perhaps to a like doom. That were almost to be wished. If her skipper survives, he must feel the torments of the murder.

Evening Post, 15 December 1893, Page 2

Melbourne, This Day. A piece of paper has been picked up at Port Melbourne, stating that the ship Ontario, bound from Canton to Melbourne, has been lost off the Phillipine Islands, and the crew are making for Singapore in the vessel's boats.

Otago Witness Thursday 23 January  1896 page 36

A bottle has been picked up on the beach at Point Lonsdake containing a scrap of paper on which was written "Cutter Spray foundered off Flinders Island." The cutter left Geelong for a fishing cruise in the Straits, and was last heard of leaving Westernport for Geelong on the 17th July. She visited Waterloo Bay, and sighted off the Promontory. She apparently had been to Flinders Island. About that time there was some very heavy weather in the Straits, and it is surmised that the cutter sprang a leak and foundered, as there has been nothing seen of her since.

Otago Witness 5 March 1896 page 38

A bottle was picked up on December 9 1895 by Mr John McPherson off Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The bottle contained a piece of paper, on which was written the following message: - "Jan. 2., 1869. We are in a gale of wind and snowstorm. We are sinking. Our vessel is the schooner Harriet, bound to North Sydney, from Portland. Consigned to John Moore. (Signed) Captain William Lewis." The Harriet, it appears, sailed in New Year's Day 1869, and was never afterwards heard of being, of course, in due time given up as lost with all on board. She was loaded with flour, and a brother of Mr Moore, the consignee, was one of the crew of five hands. Mr Moore was than a leading merchant in North Sydney.

Otago Witness Thursday 19 March 1896 page 36

Wellington, March 16th. A bottle has been picked up on Cove Beach, Waiapu, enclosing the following, written in pencil: - "A lost and starving man's request. - Should any person happen to find this bottle, will he be kind enough to make it known at some newspaper office that will report of what my fate has been. - i.e., lost at sea in an open boat off the coast of Australia. I am nearly exhausted for want of fresh water, and don't know where I am. Sixteen days without water is awful. God forgive me. - (Signed) Antony W. Short." There is no date marked.

West Coast Times, 4 November 1896, Page 2

Wellington, Nov. 3. Some days ago a bottle was picked up near Cape Kidnapper containing an undated message to the effect that the ship Mohawk had sprung a leak in latitude 48deg 21,min south, 160deg 24min west, and the crew had taken to the boats. The only vessel of that name given in Lloyd's Register is a wooden barque built at Quebec in 1878, and indicated as a timber carrier. A local resident informs the Times that when he was in Scotland some 16 years ago a vessel named the Mohawk was lost with all hands on a voyage from, Quebec to Troon, in Ayreshire, and he believes the message in the bottle was from her crew, in which case it must have been drifting about the ocean nearly sixteen years.

Evening Post, 8 February 1898, Page 5

Auckland, 7th February. The following message from the sea was found on the 3rd inst. by Mr. Horace Walker at Irwin's Gap, about three miles south of the Manukau Heads signal station : � " William Wakeham. � The ship Lowther Castle, from New York to Sydney, 16th August, 1896 ; latitude 46.40 S., longitude 72.30 E." [The place where the bottle was thrown overboard is a little to the westward of Kerguelen Island, so that the bottle drifted about 4700 miles.]

Evening Post, 26 April 1899, Page 5

IT PURPORTS TO COME FROM A COLONIAL TRADER. [by telegraph] Westport, 25th April.
A bottle was picked up to-day on the north beach, Westport, containing a scrap of paper with the following written in lead pencil. upon it :--" On board s. Marie, Argentine Republic latitude 172 E. by 62 S., in a sinking condition. All boats lost. Seven feet of water in the hold. Gale blowing. Foremast gone. God help us. Hans Christie, first mate." The paper was in a faded condition, but bears no date. [So many silly hoaxes of this kind have been perpetrated that one hesitates to accept cast-up messages unless their contents seem to suggest authenticity. In the present instance the writer has used the word "latitude" where "longitude" was obviously meant. At first view this appears not to be the act of a nautical man, but on the other hand if might be the result of an oversight made in a moment of agitation. There are a number of vessels named the Marie registered at Lloyd's, and a ship of the name left Adelaide for London on the 1st March. The position indicated by the bearings quoted is well to the south-east of the Auckland and Campbell Islands.]

Evening Post, 7 June 1899, Page 5

Adelaide, 6th June. A bottle has been picked up at Henley Beach containing a message stating, that the Mario Antoinette, about the 25th .December last, bank with till hands except the first mate, Johnson, the second mate, who died, and the writer, an able seaman named Smith. The latter lives his mother's address in London, and adds a request that his fate may be made known to her.

North Otago Times 22 August 1899 Page 2

A message from the sea in a bottle, purporting to be from Captain Champion, of the ketch Envy, from Wellington, for Auckland, re the vessel being in great straits off the Great Barrier through a gale, was found at noon on Friday on the ease coast of the Barrier, opposite Tryshens, by a son of Mr T. Medlande, of Woolstone. The message is regarded here as genuine, and grave fears are entertained for the safety of the ketch. Captain Champion was well known here. One of the crew was his son. The Envy was 52 tons, built at Brisbane, and was owned by Robert White.

Wanganui Herald, 22 September 1903, Page 5

INVERCARGILL, Sept. 21. The other day Mr W. Kirkness found a bottle on the beach at Totara, Fontrose, containing scraps of a Wellington paper wrapped round a part of a pocket diary for 190l on which was written in pencil: "To Father Boyne, Jackson's Bay. Open Bay Island, Tuesday, 4th June. Here since Sunday all well; very tired of long delay; trust, that Providence will have mercy on us,; Bishop Grimes, Dean Foley, Pere Sepety, and Malon; full of hope in the Lord." The finder has doubts of the authenticity of the writing, but Bishop Grimes and party were visiting the western side of the diocese about that time. They were a long time unheard from, and suffered inconvenience. Indeed, but the other day, his Reverence, writing to Westwood, said never again would he run the risks then experienced. The scraps of papers have reference to general Colville's failure in the Cape Campaign and the purchase of remounts for South Africa, so that all the documents are in order chronologically. The bottle, the finder says, smelt strongly of vinegar, and; its surface was much worn by rolling on the sand. Open Bay Island is a few miles north of Jackson's.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 9 June 1903, Page 2

Received Jane 9, 12.35 p.m. Sydney, June 9.
A corked bottle has been picked up at Bellingen, containing the following message: � "June 1st, 1903, 6 p.m. E. Francis, bound from N.Z, ship foundering, 18 hands on board, I take wheel and never falter. Fellow mates here, good bye."

Hawera & Normanby Star, 3 January 1907, Page 5

London, January 2. A bottle which drifted ashore at Castlerock, Londonderry, was found to contain an authentic document giving the only news of the fate of the liner Huronian, which disappeared during a terrible gale in the Atlantic in 1902. The document declaimed that the liner was top heavy, and rapidly sinking.

Evening Post, 18 September 1907, Page 8

 By Telegraph. Auckland, This Day. A telegram from Dargaville states that a bottle has been found at Kaihu Creek with a message purporting to be signed by Fraser, engineer of the Elingamite, stating that the boat was leaking badly, and that the occupants were without food and water food for several days. R. Fraser was one of the occupants of the third mate's boat, of which nothing has been heard since it disappeared in a fog after the officer in charge had informed the purser that he was going to the mainland.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 3 February 1909, Page 8

Greymouth, February 2.
This afternoon Mr Nash, of Gladstone's sawmill siding, whilst fishing at the mouth of - the Teremakau river, about nine miles from Greymouth, picked up a bottle containing the following note: "Whoever should find this will know that we, Henry Ford and William Kanabes, are shipwrecked on an island about 40 miles south of the Bluff and are in an extremely serious position, having nothing to eat, but only water to drink. P.S. � Kindly send a steamer." Signed H.F. and W.K., November 15, 1908. The note was written on a blank envelope.

Evening Post, 7 February 1910 pg7 A SEA MYSTERY.

During the voyage of the Lord Shaftesbury, she called at Pitcairn Island. She reports that a life-buoy marked "Silverhorn, Liverpool," was lately cast up on Bounty Beach. The fate of the Silverhorn is one of the sea mysteries of recent times. She left Newcastle in June, 1907, for Chile, South America, and was never heard of again.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 23 April 1910, Page 5

Westport, April 23. A barnacle-encrusted bottle was picked up on the beach here containing a paper put overboard from the Pericles (recently wrecked) on August 6, 1908. The position of the ship then was northward of the Crozets. The bottle has drifted 7000 miles.

Evening Post, 31 July 1911, Page 8

Blenheim, This Day.
On Friday afternoon Mr. C. Kenny, who lives on the shores of Tory Channel, picked tip on the beach a bottle containing the following message, addressed to a Timaru resident, Mr. G. T, Johnston :-" Boat capsized three miles from Timaru." The discovery was reported to the harbourmaster at Timaru, who replies- : " Circumstances correct. Preserve /message." '

Evening Post, 13 December 1911

Brisbane, This Day. A bottle has been picked up near Mackay containing this' note : "Yon gala � Terrible storm, 8.30 post meridian. It's a case of good-bye. (Signed) J. West, c. cook." West was chief cook of the Yongala, and it is supposed the letter "c" stands for chief. [The Adelaide Steamship Company's steamer Yongala was duo at Townsville from Brisbane on 23rd, March, but was not seen again after she left the former port.]

Timaru Herald, 18 February 1913, Page 2

MAY BE FROM LOST DUCO. PALMERSTON NORTH. Feb. 17. White, an employee of a local brewery, when cleaning bottles purchased at Foxton, found one bearing evidence of wear. The cork was tightly embedded and hardened by long immersion in the sea. The bottle had to he broken, and inside the following note was found: "Duco drifting westward, tail shaft broken. Require help at once. Captain Abraham." The paper shows signs of extreme age and although the illiterate writing and spelling suggest a hoax, the find is interesting, seeing, that the bottle came to an inland town before being discovered. The message has been sent to Wellington for identification. [The Duco was a small steamer belonging to Wellington, which was lost two or three years ago on the way to the Chathams.]

Evening Post, 12 May 1913, Page 7

REPORTED MARINE DISASTER. [By Telegraph] Auckland, This Day.
A bottle has been found at Parenga containing a message as follows (blanks being left where the words are blurred) : ; 'Monday, S. 16, 1 p.m., 1913. N____da is sinking by a hurricane in 42 deg. S. L. 160 east. G. M _____ is dead________ everybody." The paper is apparently a sheet from a German logbook. [The locality mentioned is eastward of Jervis Bay, New South Wales.]

Evening Post, 6 February 1914, Page 8
LOSS OF A BARQUE. "GOD SAVE ME." (By Telegraph.)
Brisbane. This Day.
A bottle was picked up on the Tewah Beach containing a message dated 16th July, 1912, and signed by the captain, stating that the German barque Nomia was in a hurricane 42deg. south, and 160deg east. The message concluded: "Gott save me. " The Nomia disappeared during a voyage from Newcastle to the west coast of America, and was posted as missing eight months ago. A bottle was subsequently picked up on the New Zealand coast.

Evening Post, 14 July 1914, Page 7

LOSS OF A TRAWLER (By Telegraph) (Times and Sydney Sun Services)
London, 12th July. At the enquiry into the loss of the Hull trawler Angus, the evidence showed that a bottle was picked up on the Norwegian coast in the handwriting of the second engineer, and read: "All hands. . . . Collision with foreign barque. Sinking."

West Coast Times 19 Oct. 1865 page 2

A bottle, hermetically scaled, was picked up at the mouth of the Grey River on the 3rd instant. On opening it was found to contain the following memorandum:- "Current bottle; thrown overboard from the P.N.Z. and A.R.M. Co.'s ss Airedale, off Hokitika River, N.Z. Lat. 42� 46, lon. 170� 50 E. Sept. 26th 1865. W.J.R. Nettleham, chief officer. Sept 26, 1865"

Evening Post, 13 September 1887, Page 2

[By Telegraph.] (Our Own Correspondent.) Auckland, This Day.
A message from the sea has just turned up, and serves to show that Father Neptune is rather a dilatory postman, while it also goes to prove that the ordinary method of enclosing messages in tightly - corked bottles is quite an effectual way of preserving the manuscript for an indefinite period. On Friday last a gentleman picked up an ordinary brandy bottle on the Manukau beach, about two miles from Muddy Creek, and finding it was tightly corked and had some paper inside, he opened it, and found the following message written on a piece of notepaper, which had been rolled up tightly and tied with a small strand of rope-yarn :�" April 28th, 1869. This bottle was thrown overboard from the Duke of Edinburgh in lat. 42deg. 8., long. 160deg. E. Should this bottle be poked up, please report to public press, in order' that the set of the stream currents may be determined. � Christopher Welsh, master, bound to Newcastle, New South Wales. All well." The position of the ship , when the bottle was thrown overboard appears about midway between Tasmania and New Zealand, but it is extremely doubtful if the experiment throws any light on the set of the ocean currents, aa no one knows in what or how many directions the bottle may have travelled during the past 18 years. When found the paper inside the bottle was very damp, having had no other protection than an ordinary cork.

Timaru Herald Saturday May 18 1889 page 2

Mr S.H. Amon, of Lower Rangitikei, found on the 3rd inst., at high water mark, about half a mile north of the Rangitikei river, a sealed bottle containing a printed document, of which the following is a copy:- "H.M.S. Raven, lat. 41.8 S long. 164 40 E; 10th of December 1888. Frank Myley, commander. Whoever finds this paper is requested to forward it to the Secretary of the Admiralty, London, with a note of the time and place at which it was found. Hydrographic Office, Admiralty." The position where the bottle was thrown into the sea was about halfway between New Zealand and Australia. - New Zealand Times.

Colonist, 19 June 1903, Page 4

Palmerston North, June 18,
Messrs Symes, of Waverley, recently picked up on the Waverley beach a bottle which contained a message written by the late Miss McQuirk, telling briefly of the wreck of the s.s. Elingamite. Miss McQuirk was stewardess on the illfated vessel, and perished from exposure. The bottle was sea worn, and gave other indications of having been washed about for a considerable time.

Hawera & Normanby Star,  23 April 1910, Page 5

Westport, April 23. A barnacle-encrusted bottle was picked up on the beach here containing a paper put overboard from the Pericles (recently wrecked) on August 6, 1908. The position of the ship then was northward of the Crozets. The bottle has drifted 7000 miles.

Timaru Herald 3 February 1909 Page 5

Greymouth, Feb. 2. This afternoon, Mr Nash, of Gladstone's sawmills siding, whilst fishing at the mouth of the Teremakau rive about nine miles from Greymouth picked up a bottle containing the following note:—"Whoever should find this will know that we, Henry Ford and William Kanabes, are shipwrecked on an island about 40 miles south of the Bluff, and we arc in an extremely serious position, haying nothing to eat and only water to drink. P.S—Kindly send a steamer. Signed, N.F. and W.K. November 15th, 1908." The note was written on a blank envelope.

Timaru Herald 18 February 1913 Page 2 MAY BE FROM LOST DUCO.

Palmerston North. Feb. 17. White, an employee of a local brewery, when cleaning bottles purchased at Foxton, found one bearing evidence of wear. The cork was tightly embedded and hardened by long immersion in the sea. The bottle had to he broken, and inside the following note was found: — "Duco drifting westward, tail shaft broken. Require help at once. Captain Abraham." The paper shows signs of extreme age and although the illiterate writing and spelling suggest a hoax, the find is interesting, seeing, that the bottle came to an inland town before being discovered. The message has been sent to Wellington for identification. [The Duco was a small steamer belonging to Wellington, which was lost two or three years ago on the wav to the Chathams.]

Ashburton Guardian, 5 August 1915, Page 8 FOUND ON THE BEACH.

RELIC OF THE KAIRAKA. Loss explained by message in a bottle. Wellington, August 4. An interesting discovery, and one which apparently confirms the finding of the Court-of Inquiry into the loss of the steamer Kairaki off Greymouth, was made by a young man while walking along the seashore between Lyall Bay and Island Bay yesterday. Noticing a curry powder bottle, curiosity led him to open it, with the result that he found inside a small piece of paper upon which was a faint pencil message. This has been carefully examined, and in believed to be quite genuine. With difficulty the message was found to be as follows: S.s. Kairaki, in a sinking condition. Sprung a leak off Greymouth. Big sea running. Both boats smashed and _____ drowned. I don't think she will____"
Here the message ends, having probably been abruptly finished. The paper is some what torn, and appears to have been at sea-for some considerable time. The Kairaki left Wellington on September 24. for Greymouth and was last seen by Captain Cowan, of the Petone at about 8.30.p.m. on September 25, off Cape Foulwind. Wreckage was washed ashore on the following day and subsequently the Kairaki wreck was located about three miles off Point Elizabeth in 72 feet of water.

Marlborough Express, 14 January 1895, Page 2

Auckland, January 14. A message from the sea which was thrown in the water eight days ago, near Sydney, was found on the Omaha beach. Before being discovered the bottle mv3 l . have taken an E by N course from Australia to dear the North Cape, and then would have to assume a B.W. course to Omaha. From the position m which it was found it evidently took a course in direct opposition to the set of the current which was recently spoken of at the Wairarapa enquiry, as setting in from E. and S.E. from the Three Kings.

Otago Witness Thursday 19 March 1896 page 36

A current paper was thrown over from the s.s. Rotomahana by Captain W. Walker on April 14 1895, in lat 44.25 S and long. 153.41 E. This paper was picked up off Cape Foulwind in lat. 41.45 S., long. 171. 25 E., on February 6, 1896, by Mr Henry Hall. It had travelled 1080 miles in 298 days, to E.N.E. about six miles per day.

Another current paper thrown over by Captain R. Neville of the s.s. Waihora, on July 31, 1895, in lat. 45.6 S., and long. 171.25 E.; this paper was found on February 9, 1896, about seven miles south of the Manawatu river, in lat. 40.30 S., long. 175.15 E. by Mr H.M. McDonald, sen., of Wellington, the distance travelled was 1020 miles in 193 days, or about four miles per day.

Captain Taylor, from the Timaru, sister ship to the Oamaru, was rather fond of sending bottles adrift, a common practice in the old days, and he was lucky enough to have two picked up in five years. One which he threw over in 12 N. in the Atlantic, was picked up in the Gulf of Guinea; the other, thrown over just east of the Cape Meridian, was washed up on the beach in Western Australia.

The P&O cargo ship Heythrop caught fire off South Africa in November 1971 and lost lifeboat number 4 after an engine-room explosion... it floated upside down into Albany Harbour, Western Australia in February 1973, and found completely intact, a journey of 7000 N. Miles. The ship was towed to safety in Port Elizabeth.

Auckland Star, 20 April 1940, Page 10

MESSAGE FROM TROOPSHIP. WASHED UP IN NORTH. Christchurch, this day. For two months tides and currents in the Tasman Sea carried to and fro a bottle, containing a message from two men of the First Echelon Divisional Supply Column who those this means of sending, greetings to Christchurch from their troopship. The men were Driver T. Hetherington. 16. Abberley Crescent. St. Albans, and Driver F. L. Gibson, 8. Halkett Street. Both are married men. The bottle was picked up on Bayley's Beach, west coast of North Auckland, by Mr. C. L. Cutler, Clerk of the Court at Dargaville, and recently of the Magistrate's Court staff, Timaru. In the bottle was the following pencilled message: "Joe Hetherington, 7518, N.Z.A.S.C; F. L. Gibson, 7538, N.Z.A.S.C. Good luck to Christchurch, New Zealand. Send to 'Star-Sun.' Mr. Cutler, who has been in Dargaville only a few months following his transfer on promotion from Timaru forwarded the message to the "Star- Sun," explaining that he was on holiday at Bayley's Beach when he picked up the sealed beer bottle containing the message.

Sydney Shipping Gazette May 18 1844

The Kinnear - Bottle Papers
(From the National Nautical Magazine for November)
London Docks, Oct. 12, 1843
Sir,- The enclosed was picked up by me in latitude 10 15'., and longitude 14 45' W., near the River Broat, on the west coast of Africa, on the 28th of July, 1843. I am &c,
Thomas Flight.
Commander of the brig Nunez
"Kinnear, from Sydney, New South Wales, to London. ___ 1843, latitude north 6 6', longitude west 24 28'
"This bottle is thrown overboard to ascertain the course of the current, by
"Henry Kelsall, M.D., Surgeon R.N.,
"Passenger in the Kinnear.
"Have the kindness to forward this paper to the editor of the Nautical Magazine, London, informing him where and when the bottle was found."
[We have inserted, above, the contents of the paper sent to us by the Commander of the Nunez. Mr Kelsall will perhaps be so good as to send us the day when the bottle was thrown overboard, which unfortunately has been lost.]
(From the National Nautical Magazine for November)
Maranham, Sept. 28th, 1843
Sir, - I have the honour of transmitting to you the enclosed, which was picked up on the 2nd August, at the Bar of Tutoia, entrance to Parnahiba, on the coast of Brazil, which place lies in lat. South 2 38', long. West 41 48' and there can be no doubt that the bottle which contained the same, came on the day it was found, for the person who found it and delivered it to me, said that he passed that way on the 1st, and on returning on the 2nd, he discovered the bottle lying on the beach. Without further to add
I remain, Sir, &c.,
Alex Thomson.
"Ship Kinnear, from Sydney, New South Wales, to London. May 6th 1843, lat. South 8 46', long. West 24 18'
This bottle is thrown overboard to ascertain the course of the current, by
Henry Kelsall, M.D., Surgeon R.N.,
"Have the kindness to forward this paper to the editor of the Nautical Magazine, London, informing him where and when the bottle was picked up. - H.K."
[The foregoing will not fall within the limits of the chart in our March number, being entirely in the South Atlantic. Its course has been about N. 71 W. distance about 1100 miles.]
On the bottle paper, in our last number, thrown over from the same ship, Mr Kelsall has obligingly communicated the following:-
"9 Union Terrace, Plymouth
Nov. 14. 1843.
Sir, - The notice of a bottle thrown overboard by me, from the ship Kinnear, forwarded to the office by the Commander of the Nunez, and continued in the Nautical Magazine for this month, with a request to forward to you the date when the bottle was thrown overboard would have been attended to before this, but that my diary of the voyage has unfortunately been mislaid. I can however, for some data, which I have by me, fix the desired data within three or four days, viz, between the 14th and 18th of May, 1843, I am inclined to assign the 15th may as the date; so that the bottle has made that course and distance in about 72 days.
I have little doubt but that other bottle papers will be forwarded to you hereafter, relating to the same subject,, as, during the whole voyage from Sydney round Cape Horn, homewards, I was in the habit of daily consigning each a paper, noting latitude, longitude, and the day of the month, with a duplicate of these three important points written on the back of the paper, in event of the other side becoming obliterated by a drop of water getting into the bottle.
During the time the ship was surrounded by the Sargasso, or Gulfweed, I availed myself of every bottle I could obtain, for the purpose of ascertaining the direction, and possibly the termination of that current,
I am, Sir, &c.,
Henry Kelsall, M.D., Surgeon R.N.,
Passenger in the Kinnear."
[This is a remarkable illustration of the different prevailing currents of the ocean. The bottle which we call 43a appears to have been thrown overboard in that part of the ocean between the northern edge of the equatorial current, and the south edge of the Guinea current; and to arrive at the place where it was found from its starting point, we can suppose it to have been carried first to the north-west, then to the north and north-east (perhaps as far as the Cape Verds) until it fell into the current, setting to the southward and eastward along the coast of Africa. The totally opposite course it has taken from bottles Nos. 43 and 44. adds considerably to the interest of it.

Otago Daily Times Saturday, 22nd April 2006

Message, a treasured possession. As Aston Biggs sailed for Egypt and the adventure of war in 1941, he threw a bottle into the ocean. He dropped the bottle, containing a message, somewhere between Australia and Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and implored its finder to contact him. I promise to answer, the 21-year-old Dunedin soldier wrote before throwing the bottle overboard on April 12, 1941. It was found washed up on the west coast of King Island, halfway between the Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania, on June 20 that year. In his reply sent to Gunner Biggs� parents in Opoho, Dunedin, a Mr Hardy said bottles, pieces of timber and other wreckage occasionally drifted to the island. He had once picked up a bottle that contained a message that had been thrown overboard south of the Cape of Good Hope. Those two notes, along with a clipping from the Otago Daily Times about the incident, have been faithfully kept for more than 60 years and are now in a scrapbook, treasured by Gunner Aston Biggs� younger brother, Sam Biggs. Aston Biggs was killed by a German bomb on November 29, 1941. Sam Biggs (76), who now lives in Oamaru, was 13 when his brother went to war and he remembered saying goodbye to him at the railway station. He also remembered returning home after playing rugby one day and seeing the blinds down over the windows. He had a rough idea something was going on. The postmaster had delivered a government telegram bearing the news that Aston Biggs had been killed in action. An upholsterer, Aston Biggs was also musical and played in the Tramways Band. While in Egypt, he was asked to join the Army Band but declined, saying he had trained to be a gunner. After writing to the War Graves Commission, Sam Biggs received photographs of his brother�s grave at Libya, where he was buried with about 4500 other soldiers, mainly from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The messages from the bottle would be passed on to Aston Biggs� brother�s family.

Reuters - 10 October 2000. Message in bottle returns - 44 years later...

A message in a bottle has turned up in New Zealand, forty-four years after it was thrown from a ship into the Indian Ocean. The author of the message Austrian, Hans Schwarz, now 66, wrote the message in English and German while sailing to Australia in 1956 to attend the Melbourne Olympics. He left Austria in 1956 to travel the world, and threw five bottles into the sea containing "lonely hearts" messages, which appealed "looking for a woman from the Pacific".  He eventually settled in Wellington -- seventy-kilometres from where his message was found. It's now been returned to the man. 

NZ Stuff Message in a bottle travels 1500km 
24 December 2004 

Almost two years ago Alec Breen released a message in a bottle from a Nelson wharf. This week it was found more than 1500km away in Noumea, New Caledonia. Alec, nine, said a friend of his mother gave him the idea. He tested the bottle for two days in the bath so he wouldn't have to write the note again. After the first cork proved unsuccessful, allowing bath water in, he used a plastic stopper. Alec's mum Penelope Breen said the bottle had been completely forgotten until a phone call from the recipient last weekend. "We were stunned. I thought maybe a Lotto win was coming. I just thought it was so amazing that it got all the way there." Alec said he was happy when he heard the bottle had been found. When asked about the note inside, he could not remember all the details but said it included "my name, how old I am, what I like, my phone number, my address", and his passion for soccer. 

Lost at sea for 22 days, text message for help
Wednesday, May 10, 2006 CBC News

Three Australian men lost at sea for more than three weeks survived on raw squid and rainwater, and called for help by cellphone, police said Wednesday. They were rescued on Tuesday after being adrift in a five-metre fibreglass boat since April 17, when they set off from Murray Island for a neighbouring island 70 kilometres away. They said they became disoriented when winds from cyclone Monica whipped up the waters. They ran out of fuel and began to drift. The storm hampered efforts to find the men, but provided them with lots of rain for drinking water. They had one squid to eat, used jerry cans as makeshift paddles and wore metal buckets over their heads to keep the sun off them, police said. The men also conserved the batteries in their cellphones by keeping them turned off until they had a strong enough signal to send text messages to family. Authorities found them several kilometres from Murray Island, and sent a helicopter to winch them up on Tuesday. They were treated at a clinic on their island and sent home with little damage other than a significant loss of weight as much as 20 kilograms. Within the Torres Strait Islands here you get reception within a certain distance of all the islands, so as soon as you move out of reception everyone turns them off to preserve their batteries and they've done this. They sent seven text messages. They said: "Need help, fuel, food." And so they indicated to their relations, the families on Murray Island, that they were on this Dwyer Reef area, and so that's where we focused an immediate search with a helicopter.

"Do you need 22 days of battery life? These Australians did! and it saved their life!" I wonder what phone company has service on the open sea. My plan doesn't cover that. "Lst @c plz snd hlp thx"

In Queen Elizabeth's reign an official Uncorker of Ocean Bottles was appointed. This followed the discovery by a Dover fisherman of an important political secret, which had come bobbing across the ocean in a bottle. For long after, any unauthorised person opening a bottle message stood a fair chance of being hanged.

Numerous stories were written up about messages in bottles, many were hoaxes.

fifty bottles GPS