top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Message in a bottle travels from US to France and sparks friendship

A school in North Carolina put it in the Gulf stream two years ago

The message from North Carolina had drifted for two years before reaching Noirmoutier Pic: LN team / Shutterstock

A message in a bottle sent by children in North Carolina has been found by two brothers on a beach in the west of France after two years at sea.

Thiago and Ethan Rouzeau were walking with their father on the beach in Noirmoutier (Vendée) on November 5 after a stormy night when they caught sight of something in the sand.

“I saw something shining, picked it up and pulled the seaweed from it, then I saw it was a bottle with a note inside,” the boys’ father Benjamin Rouzeau told TF1.

“We thought it was a pirate’s bottle,” said his son Ethan.

The boys’ lucky find turned out to be a message from the other side of the world that would put them into the national news.

The note inside the bottle revealed that it was sent in 2021 by a girl called Colbie, a former student at Summit school in North Carolina.

It began:

“Hello! It’s your lucky day! You have found one of our letters in a bottle!”

It went on to give the contact information of the girl’s teacher, Mrs Schambach, who had been using the bottles to teach her pupils about the ocean currents since 2013.

The bottles were then put into the Gulf Stream 60 kilometres from the shore by a sea captain.

“Four different times I’ve just been shocked when there’s an email from abroad that says they’ve found our bottle,” Mrs Schambach told Fox News in 2017.

Since then six more of her bottles have been found across the Atlantic coast of Europe, from Ireland to Portugal.

Mrs Schambach has since retired from teaching but was delighted when Thiago and Ethan spoke to her by a video call.

“Even though this all started as a science experiment, it has ended up as an international friendship,” she told them.

Read more:

Sea birds blown off course and into south west France by storm

French sailors’ love letters in UK reveal messages 265 years on

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France