98-Year-Old Message in Bottle Sets Record

Same fishing boat set previous mark
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 30, 2012 3:20 PM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2012 11:52 AM CDT
Andrew Leaper found the bottle.   (AP Photo/Scottish Government, HO)
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(Newser) – A Scottish man has discovered a 98-year-old message in a bottle, setting a world record for the oldest such discovery, the BBC reports. Perhaps even more remarkable, though: The skipper was aboard the same vessel that set the previous record. "It was an amazing coincidence," says Andrew Leaper, who is friends with the man who held the prior record of about 93 years. The friend is "very unhappy that I have topped his record," Leaper says. "He never stopped talking about it."

So what was in the bottle? Nothing particularly romantic: It held a 1914 postcard from a Glasgow boat captain, who sent 1,890 more like it; of those, 315 have been found. The dispersed bottles were made to sink in order to investigate Scottish currents. The postcard offers a reward of six pence to the finder. "As we hauled in the nets I spotted the bottle neck sticking out and I quickly grabbed it before it fell back in the sea," Leaper says. "I couldn't wait to open it. It's like winning the lottery twice."

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