10th May 2017
A message in a bottle that was released from the waters of Fiji has made its way more than 4,000km across the Pacific Ocean to be washed ashore on Hungry Head Beach just south of Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales mid-north coast. The bottle, which was released by American college student Sadie Parsons during a research trip in 2015 was discovered by 9 year old boy Tristan Scilinato as he walked along the sand.
Finding the bottle, Scilinato became excited when he looked inside and noticed there was a message. Taking his treasure home, he used a cork opener to prise the bottle open and retrieve the note penned by Parsons. "It was from a girl called Sadie Parsons from California. She dropped it off between Fiji and New Zealand" Scilinato said.
Studying climate change and its effects on island people, Ms Parsons dropped the bottle overboard from the Robert C Seamans school ship on October 31, 2015 as a drift bottle experiment.
Ms Parsons, who was studying climate change and its effect on island people, dropped the bottle overboard.
She wrote, "We started our journey from American Samoa to Wallis and Futuna then Fiji, and we are now headed to New Zealand. If you find this note please contact me. I'm very excited to hear from you. Happy Halloween, October 21, 2015."
Ms Parsons said she was amazed when she received the email to say the bottle had been found. There were 23 students onboard the research vessel and apparently it was the captain’s idea for the students to release the drift bottles overboard. The students, who were studying components of climate change and sea level rise, each picked their moment to release their bottles.
"After we were leaving Fiji I said, you know what, I think this is my time. I wrote a letter, put it in the bottle, put a cork on top and then we just threw it over. I never thought I'd see it again or even know that anybody found it" Ms Parsons said.