Delayed Delivery: Message in a Bottle Turns Up after 24 Years

Over two decades ago, a German five-year-old threw a message in a bottle into the Baltic Sea from a ferry during a family holiday to Denmark. Now a 13-year-old Russian boy has found the missive, to the delight of the original letter-writer.

Daniil Korotkikh holds the bottle with a letter he found on a beach on the Curonian Spit. Zoom
AP/ Komsomolskaya Pravda

Daniil Korotkikh holds the bottle with a letter he found on a beach on the Curonian Spit.

Thirteen-year-old Daniil Korotkikh was walking on a beach in Russia when he saw a bottle in the sand.

It turned out to be 24 years old, having been thrown by a young boy off a ship in the Baltic Sea nearly a quarter century ago, the Associated Press reported. And it had a message inside, written in German.

The letter said: "My name is Frank and I'm five years old. My dad and I are traveling on a ship to Denmark. If you find this letter, please write back to me, and I will write back to you."

Reporters tracked down the letter-writer Frank Uesbeck, now 29, from the address in Coesfeld, Germany which was on the letter. Uesbeck's parents still live in the town.

"At first I didn't believe it," Uebeck told the AP, explaining how he barely remembered the trip. "He'll definitely get another letter from me." The two long-distance correspondents have since met via the Internet, after Daniil wrote his own letter to Frank.

Daniil found the bottle on a beach on the Curonian Spit, on the Baltic Sea coast, part of which belongs to Russia's Kaliningrad region and part to Lithuania. The boy said he found it hard to believe that the bottle was so old and theorized it had been buried in the sand the whole time. "It would not have survived in the water all that time," he said.

When the two met online earlier this month, Uesbeck gave his new address to Daniil. He said he would write back when he gets a letter from the youngster.

mdm -- with wire reports

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