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Message in a bottle travels 350 miles in 23 years

Jan. 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

PENDLETON, England, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A British woman who tossed a message in a bottle into the North Sea said she has received a reply 23 years later from a Netherlands town 350 miles away.

Zoe Averianov of Pendleton, England, was just 10-years-old when she tossed the bottled message from a ferry during a ride from Hull, England, to Belgium, and 23 years passed before she received news of the bottle's fate, the Manchester Evening News reported Friday.

"It's been a bit crazy really. My parents came to visit on Christmas day and they had this letter from Europe addressed to my maiden name, Lemon," Averianov said.

Averianov said the letter turned out to be from Netherlands couple Piet and Jacqueline Lateur, who discovered her bottle and the message it contained near their home in Serooskerke.

"I am keeping your little letter on my piano; I know you are no longer a little girl but you asked me to write you so I have," Piet Lateur wrote.

Averianov said her father, John Lemon, 68, had encouraged her to write the letter and was just as delighted as she was by the reply.

"My dad is ridiculously excited. I think he'll be after visiting, but we have only been in contact a few days so only time will tell," she said.

Averianov said she is considering doing a similar project her 5-year-old son, Maksim.

"I'll probably wait until he's a bit older and can understand and write a letter, but maybe we'll do it by attaching it to a balloon," she said.

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