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article imageMessage in a bottle gets Facebook reply 33 years later

By Igor I. Solar     May 1, 2010 in Internet
London - A Belgian man who threw a bottle with a message into a British sea in 1977 received a response recently through Facebook.
Olivier Vandewalle, then a 14 year-old schoolboy, was sailing in the family yacht off the southern coast of England towards the Azores, Portugal, when he decided to take a page from his notebook and write a little note to tell about his trip. According to The Sun (UK), the message said:
"I am 14 years old and my house is in Belgium. I do not know if you're a child, a woman or a man. I am on a sailing boat of 18 meters. Her name is Tamaris. While I am writing this letter we have just passed Portland Bill on the south coast of England. We left this morning."
The bottle, sealed with a cork and candle wax, did not go very far in space, but very far in time. Thirty-three years later, Lorraine Yates, of Swanage, located about 32 km from Portland Bill in southern England, found a bottle with a message that was still legible.
Lorraine, skilled in the matter of social networking, used the only data she had -- the name and birthplace of the author of the message -- to search Facebook and locate Olivier, now a 47 year-old waiter in Ostend, north Belgium.
After she connected with Vandewalle she sent him by e-mail a scanned copy of the message as proof of her finding. They are now each other’s “friend” on Facebook.
More about Facebook, Bottle message, Belgium
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