Aug 31, 2012 at 10:16am
98 year old message found in a bottle at sea
Andrew Leaper, skipper of Lerwick fishing boat Copious, found the bottle
A Scottish fisherman has found the oldest message ever in a bottle at sea.
Andrew Leaper, a skipper from Shetland, found the nearly century-old bottle while working on the boat Copius.
“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 told reporters, according to the BBC.
“It was very exciting to find the bottle and I couldn’t wait to open it.”
“The bottle was discovered 9.38 nautical miles from the position it was originally deployed.”
The bottle had a postcard inside dated June 1914, promising six pence to the finder.
Guiness World Records confirmed Leaper is the new title-holder, posting information on the find on its website.
“The oldest message in a bottle spent 97 years and 309 days at sea,” Guiness announced.
So far, only 315 have been found.
One of those discoveries was actually made on the same boat where Leaper found his bottle.
His friend Mark Anderson found a bottle while on board the Copius in 2006, setting the previously standing Guiness World Record.
“It was an amazing coincidence,” Leaper said, according to STV News.
“It’s like winning the lottery twice.”
The bottle will soon be on display for other history lovers.
Leaper donated his finding as well as his certificate from Guiness World Records to his local community-run museum, the Fetlar Interpretative Centre in Shetland, according to STV.
Leaper is reveling in his find for now, but he may have to cede his title if another of the bottles is discovered.
“It’s amazing that nearly 98 years on bottles are still being returned to the Marine Laboratory - and in such fantastic condition,” Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said, according to STV.
Photos Courtesy: Scottish Government