Man Receives Reply to Message in Bottle After 33 Years, Via Facebook

33 years ago, Oliver Vandevalle sent a message in a bottle out into the ocean. He's finally received a reply -- via Facebook.

In 1977, a Belgian 14-year-old, Oliver Vandevalle, was on board a yacht for a sailing holiday along the coast of England when he decided to drop a message in a bottle into the water. In his letter, Vandevalle introduced himself and listed his postal address, then sealed the message into an empty wine bottle, sealing the cork in with some candle grease. For a while, he waited for a response, but eventually he forgot all about it.

But 33 years later, Vandevalle —now a father with two boys of his own—received a random message from a stranger on Facebook, Lorraine Yates of Dorset, England. She had just discovered the bottle, and, figuring the address was out-of-date, decided to search for Vandevalle on Facebook instead. She emailed him a short note, but at first, he didn’t even remember sending the message in a bottle.

Then she replied with the text of his note, and the memory came back to him. “It was an incredible experience,” he told The Daily Mail. “Where has the bottle been all these years? Was it lying buried under a heap of sand until it was uncovered by a storm? I shall never know.”

Vandevalle was so delighted by the experience that both of his sons decided to copy him, releasing their own messages in bottles to the ocean. The two boys had forgotten to include their home addresses, so Vandevalle isn’t sure if they’ll receive responses, “but the world is full of wonders, so you never know.”

As long as the bottle-finders have Facebook accounts, we don’t see why it would be a problem.

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