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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 20 January, 2020

Alaskan man discovers 50-year-old message in a bottle from Russian sailor

A Russian television network tracked a return address in Vladivostok to a retired soviet ship captain now living in Crimea.

Image: Facebook

AN ALASKAN MAN gathering firewood discovered a message in a bottle that is more than 50 years old and was dropped into the sea by a Russian sailor. 

Tyler Ivanoff, a teacher’s aide in Shishmaref, Alaska spotted the bottle on the shore near his village before opening it and realising there was a handwritten message inside. 

“Sincere greetings from the Russian far east fleet mother ship VRXF Sulak. We wish you good health and long years of life and happy sailing. 20 June 1969,” it said. 

Speaking to local media, Ivanoff said: “It was still dry on the inside and still smelled like wine or whatever old alcohol. The note was dry.”

A Russian television network tracked its return address in Vladivostok to a retired soviet ship captain now living in Crimea. 

Anatoly Botsanenko, interviewed by the station in a naval uniform, said he served on the Sulak in 1969 when he was 35.

Peering at the message on the reporter’s smartphone, Botsanenko said, “That’s not my handwriting.” But he then recognized the return address as his old home in Vladivostok.

“It’s pretty cool how a small photo grew into a story,” Ivanoff posted on Facebook after the message harnessed worldwide attention.

With reporting from - © AFP, 2019

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