Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Oldest message in a bottle

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For the record

  • Who: Andrew Leaper

  • What: Oldest message in a bottle

  • Where: United Kingdom

The oldest message in a bottle spent 97 years and 309 days at sea. A drift bottle with number card 646B, was recorded by Captain Brown (UK) as being released at 60 00.00'N 000 39.00'E on 10 June 1914. It was recovered by fisherman Andrew Leaper (UK), skipper of Lerwick fishing boat Copious, at 60 6.37'N 000 25.17'E on 12 April 2012.

The bottle was discovered 9.38 nautical miles from the position it was originally deployed. Bottles with messages were used as part of scientific experiments to chart water currents. Captain Brown conducted experiments in this vein in the early twentieth century and the launch of this particular bottle features in his log book. Captain Brown deployed the drift bottles for the Fishery Board for Scotland. The Fishery Board for Scotland also had a laboratory at Nigg Bay, Aberdeen which is not far from the present location of the present Marine Laboratory site. In 1923 the Marine Laboratory was set up at its present location in Aberdeen and continued the work that had been run by The Fishery Board for Scotland albeit in a different location and department name. The Captain Brown log book would have been transferred to the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen at this point. The Marine Laboratory continued drifter work from this location up to the late 1950s/early 1960s


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