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Canada How a message in a bottle connected two families a world apart after tragedy

01:10  16 december  2019
01:10  16 december  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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A Perth family has found the world 's oldest known message in a bottle , almost 132 years after it was thrown into the sea, Australian experts say. The Illman family were driving through a beach north of Wedge Island on 21 January when the car became bogged down in the sand, and Mrs Illman and her

The second message in a bottle from Craig Drover. He and his family began referring to this as the “ world ’s worst message in a bottle ”. I doubt Robbie will become penpals with the senders–but I do hope he keeps looking for inspiring messages in bottles .

Carolanne Riggs and her family in Burin, N.L., will have some special visitors this Christmas, brought together by her daughter's tragic death and a message in a bottle that floated thousands of kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean.

Back in December 2002, Riggs says she got home from a hockey practice with her son and there was a strange message on phone.

"There was a message there from a guy, he said that he was calling [from] off the coast of Africa and he was looking for Siobhane," she said.

"It wrenched the heart when I heard it because I thought it was a prank call."

a woman wearing sunglasses posing for the camera: Siobhane Riggs was killed in an accident in January 2001.© Provided by cbc.ca Siobhane Riggs was killed in an accident in January 2001.

Riggs's six-year-old daughter Siobhane was killed in a tragic accident 11 months earlier, and the family was still grieving the loss of their little girl.

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Messages have been slipped into bottles and shipped on mysterious voyages at least since 310 B.C., when A simple brown bottle plucked from the Baltic Sea by a fisherman gave one woman a glimpse of the The artifacts were kept in the family for nearly a century before being donated to the Cobh

The author of a message in a bottle has been located some 50 years after he threw it into the Paul Gilmore, then 13, dropped the bottle into the ocean while sailing with his family on a liner from Mr Gilmore, now a gardener and business owner said: "I remember vividly how I sent those letters away.

She said she was upset and confused by the call, but her son A.J. knew exactly what the caller was talking about.

"That man, he said, has my sister's bottle," said Riggs.

"And he said, 'you better call him back, because we've got to get my sister's bottle."

Siobhane and A.J. had written letters the previous summer, sealed them up in plastic bottles and gave them to their father, who worked in the offshore off the coast of Nova Scotia, to put into the Atlantic.

a girl in a pool of water: Siobhane and Carolanne Riggs.© Provided by cbc.ca Siobhane and Carolanne Riggs.

Riggs returned the call, and the man on the other end of the phone was Patrick Dennis in Tenerife — part of Spain's Canary Islands, off the coast of western Africa.

Dennis had found the two bottles, and when Riggs called, he asked to speak to Siobhane.

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Clint Buffington has found more than 80 messages in bottles washed up on beaches and made it his mission to track down and meet some of the senders.

Inside the bottle you find a note which reads, in fairly good handwriting: .

"Unfortunately, I had to tell him what had happened. He was pretty distraught and I think he was going to end it there," Riggs said.

"But I told him, I said 'I want you to keep those bottles in a safe place, and one of these days, we're coming to get the bottles."

a close up of text on a white background: The letter that Siobhane Riggs put into the bottle, and Patrick Dennis later found in the Canary Islands.© Provided by cbc.ca The letter that Siobhane Riggs put into the bottle, and Patrick Dennis later found in the Canary Islands.

Riggs said that first phone call came just a few days before what would have been Siobhane's seventh birthday, and she and her family quickly formed a special bond with Dennis and his family.

The two families kept in touch and the Riggs travelled to Tenerife in May 2004 and brought the bottles and the letters back to Burin.

"I'll never forget that night that I called him and I heard his voice on the other end of the phone…. It really picked us up, it gave us the strength to get out of that dark place that we were at and to move forward," she said.

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Message in a Bottle is the second romance novel written by American author Nicholas Sparks. The story, which explores the romance theme of love after grief, is set in the mid-late 1990s, then-contemporary Wilmington, North Carolina.

Real-life message in a bottle love stories are extremely rare, but Annie Rivet and Niels Elffers are But of course they did, because that is what messages in bottles are: Pure magic, time after time. Like Ake and Paolina, Annie and Niels went on to raise two children, and eventually moved back to

"Planning the trip when we went to Tenerife was absolutely fabulous … it brought some excitement and it brought some happiness and smiles to our faces again."

The bottles that Siobhane and A.J. Riggs put their letters in, along with a newspaper clipping from Tenerife, are now back in Burin.© Provided by cbc.ca The bottles that Siobhane and A.J. Riggs put their letters in, along with a newspaper clipping from Tenerife, are now back in Burin.

The family went to the Spanish island again in 2017, and Dennis decided it was time for him and his family to make the trip to Newfoundland.

"Patrick thought it was time now for them to come, his children were old enough to make this journey as well. So, my husband and my son both work offshore, so we had to choose a time when they were both going to be home," said Riggs.

"So, in August, Patrick called … he said, 'how would you like some visitors for Christmas?' and we were elated."

Riggs said it's going to be very special Christmas, bringing the two families from across the ocean together as one.

"They're going to take part in all our family traditions, and to be able to share that with them is going to be very, very special because they are a part of our family now,"

Dennis, his wife and their two daughters will arrive on Dec. 23 and Riggs said they've planned a special celebration with mummers and a screech-in the following weekend.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

17 years later, a message in a bottle brings Tenerife family to N.L. for Christmas .
17 years later, a message in a bottle brings Tenerife family to N.L. for ChristmasCarolann Riggs connected with Patrick Dennis for the first time in 2002, when Dennis received a message in a bottle from Riggs's five-year-old daughter, Siobhane.

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