A message in a bottle, thrown into the sea by a 5th grade student in 1997, has been returned with a response after being discovered on a beach in France.
The school staff, who received the response, were initially puzzled about the intended recipient, but eventually realized the significance of the letter.
The French responder explained finding the bottle and its condition, and the discovery was also documented in French newspapers.
More than 25 years after then-fifth grader Ben Lyons tossed a message in a bottle off the shores of Cape Cod as part of a science project, it’s been found 3,300 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. pic.twitter.com/oXuIoyVxqP
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) November 10, 2023
The student, now in his 30s, was tracked down, and his family expressed appreciation for the educational value of the experience.
“We got an inter-office envelope that was addressed to this student, Ben, and the Secretaries were looking for him everywhere,” Assistant Principal Brandy Clifford stated.
“They could not find this fifth grader.”
“They felt like they found a treasure when they saw a letter from this gentleman from France, and then this letter that was dated in 1997.”
“He said where did you find the bottle? What are the condition of the bottle?” explained Clifford. “If you could, please fill out the questions and return. Thank you. Ben.”
“He said that he was walking around the beach, cleaning the beach, and he found the bottle and it was sealed tight with wax… and he had a really hard time opening it,” added Clifford.
“It’s great the kids can learn about the oceans and currents from this. Showing what a small world it actually is. We’ve had fun reading the different articles and the interest this has generated,” Ben Lyons said.
The school intends to continue the exchange by writing back to the gentleman in France.
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