About16 months after the bottle was dropped, Swearingen's marine science teacher heard from someone in Ireland. The letter had made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and washed up onthe shores of the Emerald Isle, found by a 17-year-old and his Dad while out for a stroll. In an interview with Florida Today, Swearingen said he never expected the message to befound.
Can't blame him for pessimism. After all, the wine bottle, which, according to Swearingen, is being put up on display in an Irish pub, did face long odds. But it's hardlythe first message in a bottle to survive a perilous journey.
In 2009, a message in a bottle washed up on the shores of England. It had been tossed into the waters near theBahamas nearly five years previous. Incredible, but that pales in comparison to a bottle sent by Emily Hwang. True, Hwang's bottle traveled "only" 1,735 miles from Seattle to Alaska,but it took an amazing 21 years to do so.
There's even a case of a message in a bottle helping a family find a new life. In 1979, Dorothy and John Henry Peckham dropped amessage in a bottle in the Pacific Ocean while on a cruise. Amazingly, the bottle found its way to Southeast Asia where it was picked up by 31-year-old Hoa Van Nguyen.
Nguyen wroteback and began a correspondence that eventually led to the Peckhams helping to sponsor Nguyen and his family's immigration to the United States.
Eat your heart out, email.