A couple in the Florida Keys was inspecting their property for damage after Hurricane Irma when they stumbled upon something else: a message in a bottle. When Ruth and Lee Huenniger opened it up, the discovered a letter that had sailed the Atlantic Ocean for more than 30 years.
"We've always picked up bottles," Lee told InsideEdition.com. "We’ve beach-combed before even when we were kids… you always hear and read about a note in a bottle. Well, we always kind of check, and this time there was a note in the bottle."
Initially, the couple thought the container was just a fews years old; there were no barnacles or ocean debris clinging to the bottle. But when they read the contents, they discovered the laminated message was much older than they realized.
"We are learning all about Pirates. We would like to see how far this message goes Please write and tell us where you found the bottle. We are
Academy Steert [sic]
When the Huennigers wrote to the address, they received a response from the former teacher who had assigned the project, Fiona Cargill. "We forgot to put a date on the letter but would you believe it, that bottle was set on its journey more than 30 years ago!!!" Cargill told the pair. After the class handed off their bottle to a fisherman who released it into the North Sea, the bottle splashed around the Atlantic Ocean for more than three decades and traveled more than 4,000 miles from Europe to Fort Largo, Florida. "We had no idea it was really that old," Ruth said.
Back in Scotland, Cargill told the local media, and so far, three of her students have contacted the Huennigers. "I can remember having a dress up day to celebrate what we had been learning about pirates," 39-year-old Laura Millar told InsideEdition.com. "I can remember speaking about messages in bottles and that we had written one." Millar's classmate, Alisdair Moug, 39, said "It's such a strange thing to hear that something you did as a project in primary school as a seven-year-old has turned up 30-odd years later."
In total, five bottles were apparently sent out. One was discovered in the Faroe Islands about 500 miles from Forfar four to six weeks after they were sent out. The Huennigers obviously found another one, which means there are still three more bottles which have not yet been found.
“Who knows?" Moug said. "They could end up anywhere maybe in another 30 years someone will find another one."