Guinness officials have confirmed a new world record for the oldest message in a bottle found. The 97 year old message, discovered just off the Shetland isles by Scottish skipper Andrew Leaper, was not the first message found in that area. In fact, Leaper’s fellow fisherman on board the same ship had found the previous oldest letter (92 years old) when hauling up his fishing nets.
‘As we hauled in the nets I spotted the bottle neck sticking out and I quickly grabbed it before it fell back in the sea,’ Mr Leaper said.
‘I am immensely proud to be the finder of the world record message in a bottle. It was very exciting to find the bottle and I couldn’t wait to open it.
‘It’s like winning the lottery twice.’
He added: ‘I can tell you that my friend Mark Anderson is very unhappy that I have topped his record! He never stopped talking about it.’
The bottle was part of a science project in June 1914 where 1,890 bottles were released in order to map the currents of the seas around Scotland. The messages, written by Captain CH Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation, promised a reward of six pence to the finder if they reported their discovery to him. Since only 315 such bottles have been found, it is very possible that this new world record will soon be broken.