May 24 (UPI) -- A message in a bottle tossed into the water off the Massachusetts coast 18 years ago was found by an 11-year-old boy on a Canadian beach.
Dallas Goreham, 11, said he was hunting for sea glass near his home in Woods Harbor, Nova Scotia, when he found a bottle he initially thought was just trash.
"I was going to throw it away, but then I saw it had a letter in it," Goreham told the Gloucester Times.
Goreham took the bottle and its contents to his mother, Tara, and they opened it up and read the message inside.
The letter, dated Aug. 19, 2000, reads: "Hi 'friend,' I am a visitor to Gloucester. I hope you will let me know if/when you find this. Cheers, Rita."
The letter included an email address that the Gorehams soon discovered was no longer in service, but some Internet sleuthing led them to discover a Rita Ganim, 80, was living in Buffalo, N.Y.
The family got into contact with Ganim within hours of finding the bottle.
"It's the most exciting time I've had in a long time," Ganim told CBC News. "I think that's part of what life is all about -- making connections and meeting people and seeing if we can help each other."
Ruth Musgrave of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., said it's difficult to speculate on what route the bottle would have taken from the Gulf of Maine to the Nova Scotia beach.
"It also seems very unlikely that the bottle spent all 18 years at sea," she said. "My guess would be that it spent most of its time on the beach. Beaches are pretty dynamic environments, so something could remain buried for years, only to be recovered after a storm."
Tara Goreham said the two families have struck up a friendship. Goreham makes crafts out of sea glass, and she discovered that Gamin's daughter makes jewelry out of sea glass.
"I think it was meant to be," Ganim said.