Message in a bottle washes up on Vancouver Island after 107 years
Published Saturday, September 14, 2013 11:41AM EDT
A British Columbia man has discovered what could be the oldest message in a bottle ever found.
Steve Thurber, of Courtenay B.C., found the century-old bottle washed up on a beach along Vancouver Island’s west coast, near Tofino.
"I was just walking along and here's this bottle lying in the sand. I thought it looked pretty neat and I picked it up and it had a message in it," Thurber told CTV News.
If the note inside the bottle -- dated Sept. 29, 1906 -- is authentic, the bottle found by Thurber could be the oldest ever recovered. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the previous record was set by a U.K. fisherman in 2012, when he found a message in the bottle dating back to 1914.
Thurber has yet to open the bottle, and the metal seal is visibly rusted from years in the ocean.
"It's been like that for 107 years and I'm not gonna just bust it open because I think there might be something else in there," Thurber said.
A close examination through the green-coloured glass shows a sealed envelope signed by someone named Earl Willard.
A message printed on the outside of the envelope spells out the time and place Willard launched the bottle: Over the side of a steamship heading from San Francisco, Calif., to Bellingham, Wa., after about 76 hours onboard. Bellingham is located 80 kilometres south of Vancouver.
"The chances of even finding it are amazing," Thurber said.
With report from CTV’s Melanie Nagy