September 23, 2020

Message in bottle from Cayman Islands reaches Galveston


Pin It

didn’t send an SOS to the world, but he did send a message in a bottle.

The Galveston County Daily News ( ) reports the message wasn’t anything substantial — it just contained Garza’s name and contact information — but he stuffed it in a Tabasco bottle and tossed it off the coast of the .

More than a year later, two Galveston residents recently recovered that same hot-sauce container, poking out between the rocks of the 10th Street Jetty.

“The water was lapping up on it,” , 46, said. “The waves went down and I looked down again and was like, ‘Wait a second, there’s a message in that bottle.'”

Barcelona climbed down into the rocks, where the bottle was lodged in tight.

“It was wedged in pretty good,” he said. “It had probably been there a little bit.”

He and his wife, , 44, cleaned out the container, which Felicia described as “ordinary.” They then discovered the bottle’s neck was too small to allow for fingers or tweezers to pull out the message.

The Barcelonas decided to get the message out the only way they could think of — they smashed the bottle.

There, they found two rolled up sheets of paper — one, too wet to read, and another with Johnny Garza’s phone number and address.

Tommy Barcelona texted Garza, who responded in disbelief. He’d been throwing messages in bottles into the ocean for years, and had never received a response, he told Tommy Barcelona.

Garza also told the Barcelonas that he was amazed to hear where the bottle ended up — in Galveston, his birthplace.

“It’s just crazy,” Tommy Barcelona said. “Of all the bottles he gets a response from, it’s from where he was born.”

Felicia Barcelona said she has always believed in the “magic of the island.”

“A lot of crazy, magical things have happened to us on the island,” she said. “It was a gift.”

There’s no way of knowing when the bottle arrived on the island, but it traveled a ways to get there. By the time it landed, it traveled at least 1,090 miles.

“People find things all the time on the island,” Tommy Barcelona said. “I’ve found all kinds of things, but this one right here, it wins.”


Information from: The Galveston County Daily News,

This is an AP Member Exchange shared by The Galveston County Daily News

IMAGE: In this March 6, 2017 photo, Tommy Barcelona holds the note he and his wife, Felicia, recovered from a small Tabasco bottle he found wedged among the rocks at the 10th Street rock groin in Galveston, Texas. The note was from a North Carolina man who threw the bottle into the sea from a beach in the Cayman Islands. The Galveston County Daily News via AP Jennifer Reynolds
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews


  1. Dale Thompson says

    What a wonderful story very well written and a lovely couple that found the bottle

Speak Your Mind