Two Wicklow children were left stunned by the power of social media after the were reunited with two messages in a bottle which they sent from a Wicklow beach turned up in Wales.
Rachael Mythen (12) and her sister Olivia (9) from Arklow, each posted off a letter in a bottle from Brittas Bay beach during the Easter holidays.
Neither believed that they would be found, but both washed up in Wales and thanks to the power of social media, the finders were able to make contact with them.
On May 28th, their mother Claire was told about a notice online by her husband’s cousin who spotted a notice from a woman in Goginan, a small village in Wales who had found the bottle Olivia sent on a a Ceredigion beach.
He spotted the post on a facebook group and realised that the message found by Sara McAleese, a midwife and voluntary beach cleaner, was the one sent by my daughter.
Claire said : “I seen the post from a woman who had found the bottle in a beach in Wales, she was hoping that someone could help her identify the address as part of it had worn away,”
“I realised that it was the message my younger daughter Olivia had sent and made contact with the woman who found it within four minutes,”
“She was amazed by how quickly we had made contact and we exchanged addresses, My daughter was amazed when she posted the letter back along with souvenirs from Goginan.”
Mrs McAleese said that she regularly picks up bits of plastic and litter on the beach but the little bottle caught her eye.
When she read the letter, she instantly identified with the town of Arklow as her husband takes part in the Celtic Challenge boat race, so is familiar with the town.
She then decided to post a message on a Facebook page called ‘Lost at Sea’ to see could she find out who sent the note and was amazed when she got a response from Ireland within four minutes.
“I always pick up plastic on the beach, and I picked this bottle up and noticed it had a piece of paper in it,” explained Sara.
“After I read this piece of paper, I could just about make out it said Arklow on it.
“The message read: ‘Hi, I’m Olivia. I’m nine. I put this in the sea today at Brittas Beach. If you find this, please write to me at this address…’
“My partner races in the Celtic Challenge, so I am familiar with the town.”
Claire’s story wasn’t finished there however, and last Friday she received word that her older daughter’s letter had been found in Holyhead.
A woman made contact with her on Facebook to tell her that her husband had found the letter on a private beach belonging to a caravan park where he works.
“It’s an amazing story really, says Claire.
“The woman sent me a message to say her husband found it the previous week while he was working,
“I couldn’t believe that both letters had been found, My daughters were delighted ,
“It just goes to show the power of social media.”