This article was originally published by the Brisbane Times.
Have you ever dreamt about the excitement that comes with coming across a message in a bottle that has made its journey half way around the world?
Well, for a trio of Far North Queensland police officers this dream came true when a bottle caught their eye when exploring their picturesque police division some 960kms north of Cairns.
Sergeant Suzie McDonald made the discovery while she and Acting Senior Constable Talina O’Brien and Senior Constable Nicole Barnes were spending their day off en route to Ussher Point, which unexpectedly turned into a tale for the ages.
“We do a lot of walking on the beaches up here, it’s just such a beautiful area but there is a lot of rubbish that washes up on the beaches here,” Sergeant McDonald said.
“I never expected to find a message in a bottle; it’s the sort of thing that you read about.”
Written in French and English, the five letters within the bottle told the story of a group of friends on a sailing adventure near the Galapagos Islands in 2014.
“It’s amazing that the bottle has travelled so far without being damaged and then somehow ended up on a very remote part of far north Queensland, it was a very chance find,” she said.
Sergeant McDonald said that due to the sun damage on the notes, many of the email addresses were not legible but they did manage to make out one and are now eagerly awaiting a reply.
“We can’t wait to hear back from the sailors and hear their side of the story,” she said.
Over its two-year journey the bottle survived the Great Barrier Reef and countless islands before coming to rest on the Cape York beach.
Jarris Fuller, a private investigator from Brisbane, said if the email did not work, because of the Illinois based address on two of the notes he wouldn’t be surprised if an Illinois based private investigator tracked these gentlemen down in a matter of hours.
“Access to data in the US for investigators is generally much easier and much more extensive than it is here in Australia,” he said.
Across the globe, a 65-year-old painter from the South West of France has discovered another message in a bottle that had travelled some 3600 miles from its starting point on Staten Island in New York City.