A four-year-old British girl who threw a message in a bottle into the sea in Spain was stunned to receive a reply – from a couple in MOSCOW.
Taylor Powell tossed the bottle into the water on the third day of her holiday in Santa Susanna near Barcelona.
She included a picture of herself and a note which read: “If you find this picture, please respond with a name of your country and a picture.”
And she was amazed when her dad Ritchie, 31, received a text from a couple named Sasha and Alex who said they found it in Moscow’s Moskva River.
They sent a photograph of Taylor’s note along with a Google Maps image showing their location and a note signed ‘From Russia with love’.
Experts reckon the only way it could have made the journey by sea was to travel at least 5,000 miles across the Bay of Biscay, around the Shetland Islands and across the North Sea.
Ritchie said: “When I told Taylor someone had replied to the message, her face completely lit up. She was so happy.
“I asked them to send proof and received a pin of their location to my phone. We were absolutely ecstatic.
“We told Taylor her the bottle will pass by mermaids and sharks – for it to turn up in Moscow is magical for her. She’s so excited.”
Ritchie and Taylor, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, were on a four-day holiday to Santa Susanna, 37 miles from Barcelona on Spain’s north east coast.
They were joined by Ritchie’s girlfriend Milly Templeton-Browne, 22, who helped Taylor pen the letter, which included her dad’s mobile number and read:
“Hello my name is Taylor Powell, I am four years old and on holiday in Spain with my daddy.
“If you find this picture, please respond with a name of your country and a picture.
“Love Taylor xxx”
Their hotel was situated beside the seafront – and she dispatched the bottle on May 19.
Car salesman Ritche said: “Taylor made a wish when she threw the bottle into the sea.
“She kissed it and said ‘I wish I could be a mermaid’.”
Ritchie and Milly, an administrator at Weston College, were driving to Parklife festival in Manchester on June 7 when they received the text from a Russian mobile number.
It was accompanied by a picture of Taylor’s note held in a woman’s hand and a Google Maps pin showing their location.
The text read: “We hope your holiday in Spain was great – from Russia with Love, Sasha and Alex.”
The dad-of-one posted the story on his Facebook page – and received more than 300 likes with dozens of heartfelt messages.
Dr Adrian New, a scientist at the National Oceanography Centre, said it is possible for the bottle to have reached Russia by water.
This would involve it travelling around Portugal to the Bay of Biscay and up to Rockall Trough, west of Ireland.
The bottle would then float around the northerly tip of Scotland to the Shetland Islands before entering the North Sea.
Next, it would transition into the Baltic Sea before arriving at western Russia and continue north-eastwards along the north-western coast of Norway – arriving in Northern Russia.
However, Dr New said he would expect the journey to take “longer than just one month”.
He said: “From Spain there is a generally northwards current called the Shelf Edge Current (SEC) which runs along the upper regions of the continental shelf break.
“This is where the shallow shelf sea waters get suddenly deeper and plunge down typically from 100-200m depth to 4000m depths or so.
“The SEC is usually in water depths around 500m or so.
“This could take the bottle northwards along Portugal, around the shelf break in the Bay of Biscay, then up through the Rockall Trough west of Ireland, then up to the north of Scotland and Shetland.
“Here it could then either turn southwards into the North Sea and possibly transit into the Baltic and then arrive in western/southern Russia, or it could continue north-eastwards along the north-western coast of Norway and from there arrive in Northern Russia.”