Old salt finds message in a bottle at Barney Point
TUGBOAT deckhand, Robert Scott, was walking his dog, Dicey, along the Barney Point foreshores on Wednesday afternoon when he made a find that is the stuff of seafaring legends.
He had stumbled across a letter in a bottle.
"I just happened to notice the bottle with a cork in it on the rocks, so I picked it up and that's when I saw the letter inside," he said.
"I drove to my mate Tony's place because I knew he'd have a corkscrew.
"He'd served for years in the Royal Navy, but he's never seen a message in a bottle so he was pretty happy to see one."
Rob removed the folded up letter and found it had been written by Alex, a student from Sacred Heart school in Launceston.
Excited by the prospect that the bottle had travelled over 2,500km from Launceston, Rob contacted The Observer.
The school was contacted and it was confirmed that the letter had indeed been written by a student called Alex from the school.
The student's teacher, Julian Davie, had been encouraging students to hand-write messages and send them off in bottles.
"The school children have been releasing bottles for seven years and they're always excited to find out where their bottles ended up," he said.
That's when the wheels fell off the story.
Just before today's deadline, Mr Davie confirmed that Alex had given the bottle to a friend who was flying to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games.
"It's quite possible the bottle was dropped into the water somewhere much closer to Gladstone, but I can't confirm that yet," he said.
Mr Davie said the school would get about three to five bottles returned each year on average.
"This year we've had seven found, and the longest return was three years later," he said.
Rob said this revelation was a bit disappointing.
"The way it reads it sounds like it was dropped off in Launceston," he said.
"We've just had an 11-year-old put one over on us."
Read Alex's letter below:
Hi my name is Alex and as a writing task we were told to do a message in a bottle.
I go to Sacred Heart Catholic School. We have a double of every grade and 4 houses, Nagle, Rice, Young and the one I'm in MacKillop.
Sacred Heart was founded in 1872 by the presentation Sisters, they only taught the girls but in 1919 the Christian Brothers came to educate the boys.
We have around 460 children in our school.
Launceston is a lovely town to come in visit. We have many attractions like the Tasmania Zoo, Cataract Gorge, Penny Royal and many more.
You can also go to many lovely place like Hobart, Burnie, Devonport and many more.
In Hobart I personally think that they have the best fish and chips shop (Mures).
If you find this please email Sacred Heart 7250 Tas Australia.