The bottle, which also carried a photo of Rothwell and contact information for the message's authors, washed up about 3,000 miles away on Bermuda's Windsor Beach, where it was found by Gina Ingham and her husband while they were walking their dogs.
Wood made his first ever visit to Bermuda during the weekend to meet Ingham and retrieve the message and photo. He said it was poetic that the bottle reached Bermuda, as it had been one of Rothwell's favorite places.
Wood said the tribute to Rothwell will now be given to his late friend's sister.
A visitor to a beach in the Bahamas' Manjack Cay recently found a message in a bottle that turned out to have been launched into the water by a group of fishermen off the coast of Nova Scotia in July 2016.