June 22 (UPI) -- It took 36 years, but someone finally got Douglas Stephens' message.
On June 10, 1981 off Fernandina Beach, Fla., Stephens set adrift into the Atlantic Ocean a bottle bearing a note with a simple request: The person who finds the glass should contact him and let him know where and when they found it.
Last Saturday, that task fell to Ryan Burchett, a man fishing with friends and family at Little St. Simons Island in southern Georgia, about 40 miles north of Fernandina Beach.
Burchett found the old bottle along the shore. He looked up the old address Stephens listed on his note, but saw the property had exchanged hands a number of times in the decades since.
Finally, he went to a local outdoors shop, Southeast Adventure Outfitters, for help. The business put out a message on Facebook to track down Stephens.
Once Burchett located Stephens in Acworth, northwest of Atlanta, the two men caught up with one another over the phone. Burchett told WXIA the conversation was "incredible," but said he wouldn't want others to mimic their story.
The chance of polluting the water is not worth it, he said.
"Don't throw stuff in the ocean," Burchett said. "It stays there forever."