June 15 (UPI) -- A crew doing work in a river in Mississippi found a message in a bottle that turned out to have been launched 33 years earlier into a lake 295 miles away.
Billy Mitchell of Vicksburg-based Big River Shipbuilders said his crew was working in the Yazoo River when they found a glass bottle floating in the water.
The bottle turned out to contain a letter, but the paper was wet and difficult to remove, so they put the bottle into the microwave for a few seconds to help dry it.
The note came apart, but Mitchell and colleague Brad Babb were able to piece it together enough to determine it had been launched into Sardis Lake, about 295 miles from where it was found, in 1989.
The note had been authored by a sixth grader named Brian Dahl for a school project.
Photos of the message in a bottle were posted to Big River Shipbuilders' Facebook page in the hopes of finding Dahl, but a few days after the post Babb received a call from a man who identified himself as Dahl's father.
Babb said the phone call turned emotional when Dahl's father told him his son had died several years earlier.
Mitchell and Babb said they are hoping to meet up with the family in person in the near future to learn more about Billy Dahl.