Happy Endings For Messages In A Bottle
Author Paul Brown’s new book is inspired by old articles published in newspapers about messages that were rescued from the waters. Outer Hebrides and the east coast of Scotland used to be the hotspots for such messages that were placed in sealed bottles. Numerous discoveries of messages inside the stomach of a shark, a plea for help from St Kilda and the final words of a presidential aide who lost his life in the Titanic were made during the later part of the Edwardian and Victorian eras.
According to Brown, messages were placed in corked bottles or sealed boxes, carved on pieces of wrecked ships or tied around the necks of seabirds because back then, there were no efficient means of communication. The message found inside the stomach of the shark was very interesting; it was a message placed in a bottle written by a lady describing the birth of a child. The message was read aloud to a crowd who witnessed the gutting of the shark’s carcass.
Of the 100 messages that were found between 1861 and 1915, the plea for help from St. Kilda was live saving. The Pete Mubrovacki of Austria capsized and was lost near the island of St. Kilda. Provisions became scarce and the captain with his crew of eight had no means of getting off. Fearing starvation, they wrote a plea for help which they tied on the buoy of the vessel. The rigged a small sail in the vessel before it was sent away. It was washed for more than 200 miles away in Orkney where the message was found. The Royal Navy gunboat Jackal sent a rescue ship to provide them with the necessary provisions. This legendary tale inspired visitors to the island to send messages in a bottle as form of tradition.
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