The Current

Woman in Wales finds a message in a bottle. Now she's seeking the Canadian sender

A woman in Wales is hoping to contact a Newfoundland fisherman after discovering a message in a bottle that appears to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and landed in the path of her morning walk.

'You think of the journey, and it's just unbelievable,' says Amanda Tidmarsh

Amanda Tidmarsh found a message in a bottle on a beach in Wales. It was thrown into the ocean by a fisherman from Newfoundland. (Submitted by Amanda Tidmarsh)

A woman in Wales is hoping to contact a Newfoundland fisherman after discovering a message in a bottle that appears to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and landed in the path of her morning walk.

Amanda Tidmarsh, who lives in Ogmore-by-Sea, a village about 32 kilometres west of Wales's capital Cardiff, was down at the beach with her dogs on Aug. 6, when she saw "something sparkle on the floor."

"I thought, oh, it's a bottle," she told The Current's guest host Anthony Germain.

As Tidmarsh picked it up, the tide was going out and the water was rough. The bottle was covered in seaweed and barnacles, but she could see something inside.

"I put it in my pocket, and took it home," said the 52-year-old. 

The note included a description of where the bottle had been thrown in the ocean. (Submitted by Amanda Tidmarsh)

During her walks, Tidmarsh said she often scans the beach for treasure. She never expected to find anything, however. 

When her son came home from work, she showed him her rare find. 

"We were like two school kids. We were really excited," said Tidmarsh. 
Tidmarsh was down at the beach with her dogs, when she spotted the bottle glinting in the sun. (Submitted by Amanda Tidmarsh)

The bottle was so tightly sealed, they had to cut it open. The letter itself was kept safe in a Ziploc bag, secured shut with tape.

Finding Craig

When Tidmarsh read the letter, she found out the bottle had travelled almost 5,000 kilometres from Canada, to her shores. The letter was signed off by a snow crab fisherman named Craig Drover in Newfoundland. 

"Unbelievable, isn't it? How it reached without getting smashed or lodged in rocks. You know, you think of the journey, and it's just unbelievable," she said.

Listeners share their own stories of sending — and receiving — a message in a bottle. 3:47

According to the letter, dated November 2020, Drover tossed the note while aboard The Arctic Eagle, a fishing vessel. The letter also included Drover's coordinates at the time, his mailing address, and his email address.

Tidmarsh has sent both a letter and an email to Drover, but she's still waiting to hear back from him.

As long as his second correspondence isn't by message in a bottle, she hopes to hear back soon.

The Current has reached out to Drover for an interview, but he hasn't yet responded.

She did consider sending him a letter back by bottle herself, but ultimately decided against it.

"That really is the old fashioned way, isn't it."

For now she has the bottle sitting in her greenhouse until she decides what to do with it.

Amanda Tidmarsh found a message in a bottle on the beach in Wales. Now she’s looking for the sender: a Canadian fisherman named John Graham. [Correction: Since this segment aired, The Current has seen a photo of the letter, which refers to the fisherman as Craig Drover, not John Graham.] 5:53

Written by Philip Drost. Produced by Cameron Perrier.

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