Irish boy to tour Quebec after finding message in a bottle cast from Canada in 2004
Published Friday, July 12, 2013 8:39AM EDT
A 10-year-old boy from Ireland and his family will tour Quebec this week, seeing the town where a message in a bottle was tossed into the St. Lawrence River nine years ago – only to be discovered by the kid last fall.
Quebec Tourism extended an invitation to Oisin Millea and his family to visit the province, after Millea discovered the bottle and note last October in the Irish town of Passage East.
As the story goes, the bottle -- which was thrown into the river by two 12-year-old Quebec girls in the summer of 2004 – had survived the roughly 5,100-kilometre journey across the Atlantic to wind up in Ireland.
Respectively, the girls who sent the message have been invited to tour Ireland this summer.
Millea and his family arrived in Montreal Thursday evening, where they were greeted by the Quebec girls -- now in their early 20s -- who had originally sent the message.
He told Canada AM Thursday that he’s excited to start his vacation, which includes tours of Montreal, Quebec City and Grande Vallee -- the town where the message in a bottle was originally cast into the water.
“I think it’s just going to be really good,” he said. “We got to meet the girls last night and we went to loads of places.”
Millea said he’s most excited to see the Montreal International Fireworks Competition, where he and his family will have VIP seats.
He described what it was like to find the bottle last October.
“It was a sunny day … and I wasn’t really looking for anything. I was just walking around and I stepped on something and it was a green 7-Up bottle” he said.
“I looked and I saw this little map, and I thought it was a treasure map at first. But it turned out to be a message… and it was better than any treasure.”
Millea was able to connect with the girls via Skype, after translating the French note online and turning to media to locate the girls.
The incredible story has brought a ton of attention to Millea, who described it as “amazing.” Millea would have been only a toddler when the message was first launched into the St. Lawrence.
“My mam doesn’t really like it … when we first came into the airport we saw loads of reporters and they all started taking pictures,” he said. “We were just amazed.”