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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: Little Boy’s Message Travels Four Thousand Miles From The Dominican Republic To The United Kingdom

SANTO DOMINGO — A message in a bottle that was launched from an island northwest of the Virgin Islands has traveled more than 4,000 miles and washed ashore on a beach – in Barra.

The note revealed it had been sent two years ago by a five-year-old boy from Germany who was on holiday with his family in the Dominican Republic.

Local resident Kenny Mackinnon was enjoying a walk along the shore when he spotted something bobbing on the water.

“I had just finished cutting the greens on the Barra Golf Course, and since it was a nice night I went down to the shoreline for a walk, as it’s quite remote and not a lot of people go there,” Mackinnon said. “I saw a bottle bouncing on the water, and because it’s a pebble beach, I went and got it before it smashed.”

When Mackinnon examined the bottle he could see that there was a message inside it.

“It had growths on it, like barnacles, so I guessed it had been in the sea for a long time,” he said.

“I took it home and broke up the cork to get the message out.

“It was a letter from a five-year-old boy from Germany who was on holiday in the Dominican Republic, and he had sent the message from there in the summer of 2015.”

The message read: “Hello. My name is Luke. I’m on holidays with my brother Earle and my father Felix and my mother Kerstin. We are staying 3 weeks in the Dominican Republic. I’ll become 5 years on the 11th of November. I’m going on to write this letter in hope to receive an answer as soon as possible.”

Luke’s parents also included an address to respond to, and Mackinnon has now sent them a letter in the post, including the original message.

The Castlebay resident, who works as a firefighter at Barra Airport, said: “It’s funny to think that wee boy will be nearly seven now.”

“It’s very exciting. It’s not every day you find something like that, he added.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

1 Comment

  1. Tiffany
    August 13, 2017 at 8:59 PM — Reply

    Such a beautiful story. I hope there’s a follow-up on this. Makes you realize how small this world really is!

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