July 12, 2020

SA message washes up in Caymans


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795050278By Kevin Lancaster, The mercury, From iol news

Durban – On October 29, 2008, a message in a bottle was thrown off the container ship Atlantic Runner by its captain, Alexey Sotnikov, while on a voyage to Canada.

The message, written by 13 Grade 3 girls from Durban’s Winston Park Primary School, detailed their day-to-day school life – including that they had art class on Fridays – and was signed by all those who had contributed to it.

Last week, almost five years after being cast overboard, the bottle was found by Cayman Islands resident Sherri Hillmans while she was on one of her regular beachcombing expeditions.

“I love walking the beach and usually collect shells and such,” she said via Facebook.

When she found the bottle she was “so excited” and immediately made contact with the girls, who are now in their first year of high school.

Caitlyn Rowell was one of the signatories on the message and could not believe her cross-Atlantic communication had been picked up.

“I can remember sitting down and writing the message,” said the 13-year-old from Hillcrest.

“We all hoped that it would be found. We wondered if it would be picked up in China and no one would be able to understand it,” she laughed.

Rowell said she and some of her friends who were still in the province had befriended Hillmans on social media and had been communicating with her since they made contact.

Rowell’s mother, Cheryl, said the message in a bottle had not been a school initiative but a classmate’s idea.

The boys and girls in the class wrote notes which were taken by Sotnikov, but unfortunately only the girls’ memo has found its way to land.

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