A bottle washed ashore in Croatia has sparked a mystery about a decades-old friendship between a Nova Scotian man and a woman.

Kite-surfers cleaning debris from a beach at the mouth of the Neretva River in the southern Adriatic came across a half-broken bottle with a paper inside, Croatian newspaper Dubrovack Vjesnik reported Wednesday.

Matea Medak Rezic, a 23-year-old local surfer, nearly threw it away before she spotted a wet paper inside.

"I picked up the bottle and I then realized that there was a letter," the newspaper quoted her as saying.

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She extracted it and found a soggy letter from a man called Jonathon to a woman called Mary.

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The letter was wet, but legible. (Facebook)

"Mary, you really are a great person. I hope we can keep in correspondence. I said I would write. Your friend always, Jonathon, Nova Scotia, 1985," said the message.

It's not known where Mary is from, or how the two knew each other 28 years ago. The letter contained no last names, so Jonathon's identity is also unknown.

Rezik posted a photo of the letter to her Facebook account and said she hopes to find out what happened to Jonathon and Mary.

If the bottle was launched in Nova Scotia, it would have travelled about 6,000 kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean before likely squeezing into the Mediterranean Sea between southern Spain and northern Morocco. It would have then drifted up the Adriatic Sea before washing up on the beach.

With files from Reuters