Florida family finds message in a bottle 37 years later — and its author

Bottle tossed into ocean by boy on vacation in 1985

MOUNT WASHINGTON, Ky. – As Hurricane Nicole ate away at Florida’s Atlantic coast, delivering what state officials called a combination punch following Ian’s impacts weeks earlier, it also effectively restocked some beaches with long-lost, formerly sunken objects for treasure hunters to dig out.

One of those beaches turned out to be in Sebastian, where the Carrmax family in November discovered a message in a bottle that had been dropped in the sea almost 40 years prior.

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Not only was the message inside of the bottle legible, it was also traceable. A simple letter included some contact information and a short request: “PS. Who EVER finds (this,) call me, or write to me.”

The family did just that, going off of a phone number in the message to track down Troy Heller, a Kentucky man who said he tossed the bottle when he was a 10-year-old on vacation in Vero Beach.

“I thought I’d just throw it out in the ocean and just see where it went, you know? And it’s just amazing that it finally found its way back,” Heller said.

Heller said he was shocked to learn the bottle stayed intact, adding he never expected anyone to ever find it.

The Carrmaxs chronicled their experience on TikTok, with a video (set to the perfect song, frankly) already garnering tens of thousands of likes.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.