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Kayaker reunites author with message in a bottle from 1985

A kayaker who discovered a message in a bottle floating in a Delaware river was able to reunite the letter with the woman who wrote it 35 years ago.

Brad Wachsmuth thought the bottle bobbing in the water about 2 miles (3 kilometers) offshore of the Broadkill River was a piece of trash when he spotted it Aug. 8, just a few days after Tropical Storm Isaias swept through the area, WBOC-TV reported.

“As we usually do as kayakers, we try to pick up trash out of the water when we can,” he told the station this week.

But Wachsmuth’s friend noticed there was something inside, and the two fished out the letter written by Cathi Riddle and her cousin, Stacey Wells, dated 35 years ago — Aug. 1, 1985. It described their family pets and asked potential future readers if they had any of their own, among other childhood musings.

Wachsmuth brought the letter to the Milton Historical Society and a curator reached out to family and put the two in touch, the news outlet said.

Riddle still lived just miles away in Milton, and Wachsmuth was able to return the letter to her on Aug. 20. He said he was surprised it ended up in the same waters after decades of storms and tides, but Riddle suggested that maybe, it was fate.

“My cousin and I were staying at the beach and we decided to write the letter and send it out and see how far it went,” Riddle told the station. “It didn’t travel very far, but perhaps it traveled the world and came back.” RGA


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