Message in a bottle travels 250 miles from Kentucky to Tennessee in 30 years

A message in a bottle dropped into a Kentucky river was found 30 years later after floating an estimated 250 miles to Tennessee.

Pam Stanfield said her husband, Daniel, and daughter, Skylar Mae, were treasure hunting on the shore of Open Lake, near Ripley, Tenn., after recent flooding when they discovered the bottle with a message inside.

“Most of the time it’s a bunch of trash, but every now and then you get something neat. And they got something neat,” Stanfield told the Jackson Sun.

The note inside the bottle was signed “John and Trina” and said the message was launched into the Green River on Dec. 21, 1990.

The bottle had apparently traveled 250 miles through the Green River, the Ohio River and the Mississippi River before ending up in the lake.

Stanfield said her Facebook post about the discovery had been up for less than an hour before she was connected with Trina Hollander.

“I was getting calls from my son and another friend asking if I’d checked Facebook in the last little while, and I hadn’t because we were with friends on Sunday,” Hollander said. “But he told me I needed to check it, and I couldn’t believe it when I did.”

Hollander said she didn’t remember putting the message in a bottle into the river, but her husband, John, recalled the event right away. The couple said they weren’t yet married and had just moved into a home on the shore of the river when they launched the bottle.

“We were out there one day looking at the river and thought it would be really neat to find a bottle with a message on it that washed ashore. We never found one, but John said we should send one out, so we did,” Hollander said.

The two families said they plan to keep in touch.

“We made new friends of a beautiful family in Tennessee, and we both said we want to stay in touch with each other,” Hollander said.

A Nova Scotia, Canada, boy recently made a similar discovery in his parents’ back yard. Nyima Mitchell, 8, found a message in a bottle under a tree in Cheticamp.

The bottle had been launched 25 years earlier by a 14-year-old girl visiting the Magdalen Islands with her family. Mitchell’s mother, Britta, said the bottled message had likely been transferred from the ocean to a pond in the family’s yard during a particularly high tide.