Message in a bottle from Florida makes corks pop in Clare
IT was the message in a bottle, which travelled over 3,700 miles.
A teenager inadvertently discovered the power of the Gulf Stream current when he found a green bottle on a beach in Co Clare.
The wine bottle had travelled for over a year across the Atlantic as part of a science project by a school in Florida.
NUI Galway student Adam Flannery (17), from Athlone, was on holiday in Kilbaha on the Loop Head Peninsula with his family when he spotted it washed up on a pebbled beach.
After retrieving the bottle, he enlisted the help of local bar owner Bernie Keating to open it whereupon they found a letter from a high school in Melbourne, Florida.
"The note inside said it was part of an oceanographic survey and asked that it not be thrown back into the water," Stephen Flannery, Adam's father, said.
The family, who have been holidaying in the area annually for the last 15 years, subsequently emailed the school to play their part in the survey.
It soon emerged that the bottle -- branded with a serial number -- had been thrown into the sea, off the Florida coast on April 22, 2009.
It was one of 150 bottles dispensed as part of a project by Melbourne High marine science teacher Ethan Hall.
The annual project puts bottles into the Atlantic Ocean, 20 miles off nearby Port Canaveral. The bottles are then plotted through the Gulf Stream.