A 19-year-old college student from Rockport received a response from France on Friday to a message in a bottle that he threw in the ocean when he was 10 years old.
Max Vredenburgh, now a sophomore at Suffolk University, said he was in disbelief that his bottle survived nine years in the water and was found by someone across the ocean. Even when he convinced his dad to take him to Long Beach in Rockport in August 2010 to throw the glass wine bottle out into the water, “I genuinely didn’t think it would actually work,” he said.
But on Friday, Vredenburgh got a text from his dad, who still lives in Vredenburgh’s childhood home in Rockport. A mysterious “G. Dubois” had found the bottle, washed ashore on a beach in Southern France on Oct. 10, and mailed a note back.
“I’m just mind-blown, it’s crazy,” Vredenburgh said. “I have this picture in my head of a wine bottle with a message bobbing around in the freezing cold ocean with nothing in sight.”
Vredenburgh posted Dubois’s note and his original letter on Twitter to his then-40 followers (he now has 2,646).
“I like apples, I like the beach, my favorite colors blue, I like animals, I like cars, I like outer space. Please write back,” Vredenburgh wrote in the 2010 letter, in which he included his address.
Overnight on Friday, the tweet blew up, Vredenburgh said. He woke up at 8 a.m. Saturday to his phone buzzing like crazy at his desk, and his phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since.
“Honestly, I should mute them, but I know that this is my five seconds of twitter viral-ness,” he said.
Vredenburgh said he would love to travel to France and meet his mysterious letter writer. However, he said he has received hundreds of messages on Twitter from people claiming to be Dubois or know who Dubois is, making it hard to separate the real leads from the fiction.
“I am going to write a letter back with my contact information and socials,” he said. “This time I’ll probably just mail the letter.”