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World’s Oldest Message in Bottle Confirmed After Scots Boat Find

A 97-year-old message in a bottle found by Scottish fishermen in their catch has set the world record for spending the longest time at sea.

Guinness World Records confirmed the April 12 discovery by the Shetland Islands fishing boat, the Scottish Government in Edinburgh said in an e-mailed statement today.

“It was just a normal day and we were out fishing for monkfish,” Andrew Leaper, 43, who skippered the boat, Copious, said in the statement. “As we hauled in the nets, with a mixed catch of monks, megrim and cod, I spotted the bottle neck sticking out of the cod end of the net. I quickly grabbed the bottle before it fell back in the sea.”

The bottle was released on June 10, 1914, by the Glasgow School of Navigation, one of a batch of 1,890 scientific research bottles designed to float close to the seabed. The location of the returned bottles allowed researchers to map the undercurrents of the seas around Scotland.

So far, 315 bottles have been found, each containing a note asking the finder to record the date and place of the discovery and return it for a reward of sixpence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net

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