Message in a bottle gets through

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Thirty-one years after tossing a message in a bottle off a ship in the Indian Ocean, a Norwegian girl (now grown up) is finally getting a response.

Malin Stensønes of Tønsberg was 11 years old when she sailed on board a tanker commanded by her father from Iraq to Europe, via the Cape of Good Hope. She threw a bottle overboard with a message inside, reported newspaper VG last week, giving her name and address and asking whoever found the bottle to please write to her.

The bottle was actually found just two months later, in 1979, by Charles Malherbe and his family on a beach north of Cape Town, South Africa. Malherbe was only two years old himself at the time, and told local website Rapport that his family “tried to answer the letter, but didn’t get through.”

His mother framed Malin’s message and hung it on a wall in their home. He made several more efforts to contact her over the years, and finally found her over the Internet. They’ve corresponded frequently over the past few months.

She’s now 42 and married with two children, and her family has invited Malherbe to Norway. He’s now 33 and plans to come visit them in October.

Views and News staff