Message in a bottle found in Australia 50 years on

In 1969, 13-year-old British boy Paul Gilmore wrote this letter, placed it on a bottle and dropped it to sea while traveling on an Australian ship. (Carla Elliott via Facebook)
Updated 18 July 2019

Message in a bottle found in Australia 50 years on

SYDNEY: An Australian boy who discovered a message in a bottle on a remote beach may have a new penpal after the Englishman who dropped it from an Australia-bound ship 50 years ago was tracked down.
But Jyah Elliott, aged nine, may have to wait some time as the message’s now 63-year-old author is once again at sea — this time on a cruise in the Baltic, the ABC reported.
Jyah discovered the decades-old treasure in sand dunes on a South Australian beach on Tuesday and by the next day the writer had been located.
Paul Gilmore was just 13 when on November 17, 1969 he dropped the bottle into the Indian Ocean hoping to reach a new friend.
The letter, which gave the ship’s location as “1,000 miles east of Fremantle, Western Australia, asked its recipient to “Please Reply.”
Although Jyah initially thought the letter was a fake, he was quick to post a reply on Wednesday.
“He was so excited,” his mother Carla Elliott told the ABC.
Gilmore’s sister Annie Crossland told the ABC that her brother was currently cruising but would be sure to contact Jyah when he returns home.
“It’s amazing, absolutely incredible,” Crossland said. “He’ll be chuffed to bits.”
She said the family had long ago moved on from the reply address on the letter.
Gilmore sent six bottles from the TSS Fairstar, a ship that transported so-called “10-pound Pom” migrants from Great Britain to Australia.
“The last time he was on a ship was probably going to Australia,” she said. “Cruises aren’t his thing.”


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.