WHEN Highworth’s Brandon Duquemin threw a message in a bottle into the sea, little did he know that 13 years later he would get one back.
The 19-year-old wrote the message with his father, Robert, when he was seven and on holiday in Ilfracombe, Devon.
Earlier this month it washed up onto Chesil Beach in Dorset, where 30-year-old Lucy Blayney from Portland discovered it – and she wrote back.
Brandon, who now attends Swindon College, said: “I was surprised when the message turned up. I remember going on holiday to Ilfracombe but I don’t remember sending the message in a bottle.
“I know people moan about pollution but I don’t think it should put people off from sending messages in a bottle.”
Brandon’s mum, Teresa Page, remembers her partner Robert decided to send the message in the bottle after listening to an album by The Police.
Teresa, 46, said: “Rob had a Police album and was listening to Message In A Bottle, and that’s when he thought he might write one.
“He wrapped it up and put it in a plastic Coke bottle.
Brandon's original message
“Lucy told us that she found the bottle and the message was all intact, and she wrote back in coloured paper asking Brandon to tell his mummy to email her, thinking that it had been sent while on holiday in the summer.
“I think she was a bit shocked when she found out he was 19.”
Lucy found the bottle after a storm which caused Chiswell’s flood sirens to be sounded for the first time in 30 years.
Teresa was surprised to hear that the message had been found in one piece after all that time.
She said: “When Lucy found it the message was dry and intact. It’s a bit worrying that it survived even after 13 years in the sea.
“It is unbelievable that Lucy found it after so much time.”
The bottle is one of the slowest to arrive on a beach, having only travelled some hundred miles or so down the coast.
The seven-year-old Brandon at the time he sent the message
The other shock finding is that Lucy’s partner comes from Swindon, and her best friend grew up in Home Farm, where Teresa and her family live.
Teresa said: “They reckon it’s the slowest ever message in a bottle but I expect there are loads out there that haven't been found.
“We used to come down to Weymouth every year when Brandon was younger and always went up to Portland Bill.
“I wanted to move up there as I love it so much so it’s strange that the bottle was found in that area.”