What a trip the 'message in a bottle' had, travelling 800 miles over 25 years!

Twenty-five years ago a young girl in the north-east did what most kids living by the sea do, she popped a message into a bottle and set it off, never thinking she’d hear any more – and she didn’t, until now!

By John A. MacInnes
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 9:57 am

Joanna Buchan, 34, and now working as a doctor in New South Wales, Australia, was a student at Peterhead Central School in 1996, when she and some of her fellow pupils were involved in a school project. Part of that project involved a fishing boat trip into the North Sea where Joanna dropped her message in a bottle overboard.

It was found nearly 800 miles away at Gasvaer in Norway by Elena Andreassen Haga, who then set to tracking Joanna down using social media.

Elena, 37, told BBC Scotland she found the green bottle in the summer of 2020 and could see immediately there was something inside.

Joanna Buchan in New South Wales where she now works as a doctor. Credit: BBC/Joanna Buchan

"So we opened it and we had to be really careful, but we managed to fold it out and we're able to read that this is actually from Scotland, so that was kind of cool," she said.

"My son Eliah was six when we found the bottle, he honestly didn't quite understand the fuss at first - old-fashioned fun I guess.”

Joanna said: ”I found the absolute gem of a message from Elena, dating back to 2020, while scrolling through the message requests section of Facebook Messenger.

"I was like 'that's my handwriting'."

The letter told of how she enjoyed sweets, her love of teddy bears, and, the fact that she didn’t like the opposite sex, telling the finder, "By the way I hate boys.”

"When I read it I just died laughing", said Joanna.