Message in a Bottle Makes its Way Across the Pond

In the days of instant communication through text messaging, snapchat, twitter, and other social media platforms, hand written messages are seen few and far between.

With all of these immediate means of reaching friends, family, and even strangers available, many millennials probably couldn’t imagine sending a message any other way than electronically.

However, as if directly out of a 1990’s movie, one Londonderry girl decided to write a note to anyone and send it out to sea.

Zoe Dieffenbach, now a senior at Londonderry High School, along with her sister, Sage, and their friend, Haley, sent out a hand-written note in a bottle in June of 2015 out of Jenness State Beach in Rye, New Hampshire, not knowing where it would turn up, or if it would turn up anywhere at all.

When asked why she had decided to send the message, Dieffenbach answered, “Me and my sister kind of wanted to try and see if it would work. We never expected an answer back.”

But nearly two years later, to her surprise, Dieffenbach got a text message to the number she had included on her note, letting her know that her message had made its way to the Shetland Islands far north of Scotland. Although the original print had faded to the point of almost invisibility due to sun exposure, the recipient was able to make out the contact information and reached out to its sender.

“I was…shocked because I didn’t expect an answer, and for it to actually work was really cool!” Dieffenbach said of the experience.

When asked her opinion on the way communication has changed, Dieffenbach said “You don’t expect that stuff anymore, so it’s new and exciting when you get mail. When you get a text, you text every day, so it gets boring.”

Dieffenbach said that she has not since heard back from the recipient from the Shetland Islands after answering their initial text, but it’s safe to imagine that receiving a message in a bottle from thousands of miles away wasn’t something that person saw every day, and now both recipient and sender will have a story to tell for generations.

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