Message in Bottle Gets a Reply, 23 Years Later

Zoe Averianov dropped bottle in North Sea in 1990 at age 10
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2014 11:47 AM CST
Message in Bottle Gets a Reply, 23 Years Later
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

A UK woman got a pretty unexpected Christmas card this holiday season—a response to a 23-year-old message in a bottle she'd dropped in the North Sea as a child. While on a ferry from England to Belgium in 1990, Zoe Lemon—now Zoe Averianov—wrote a note explaining, "Dear finder, my name is Zoe Lemon. Please would you write to me, I would like it a lot." She added, "I am 10 years old and I like ballet, playing the flute and the piano. I have a hamster called Sparkle and fish called Speckle," and dropped it from the boat in a plastic bottle, the BBC reports.

Fast forward to today, and Averianov, 33, says she's surprised just how far the message traveled—more than 350 miles. "My parents came to visit on Christmas Day and they had this letter from Europe addressed to my maiden name," she says. It turns out, the note washed ashore in the Netherlands, where Piet and Jacqueline Lateur found it, then returned it with a message of their own. "I know you are no longer a little girl but you asked me to write you so I have," the response read in part, per the Mirror. Piet and Averianov have kept up the communication, though this time, email is their method of choice. (But her note just isn't quite as old as what may be the oldest message found in a bottle.)

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