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Message in a bottle found in Tassie after Antarctic journey

ON JANUARY 19, 2013 John Toonen put a cork in the tinted wine bottle and threw it into the icy water below.

Mr Toonen was in the Drake Passage south of Chile on a 20-day cruise on board the MV Plancius when he decided to send a message in a bottle.

Near the Antarctic Peninsula, when the ship hit coordinates 05800.128, 06522.022, Mr Toonen farewelled the bottle, not expecting to hear about it again.

"I had no knowledge how far it would travel or where it would end up," he said.

Message in a bottle - John Toonen dropped a bottle with a note into the ocean off South America and it washed up on an island off Tasmania. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Message in a bottle - John Toonen dropped a bottle with a note into the ocean off South America and it washed up on an island off Tasmania. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

After bobbing for almost three years and drifting about 10,000km, the Bay man's note was found last week in Tasmania.

As a man addicted to practical science, Mr Toonen assessed his bearings, the ocean's currents and decided to do one of the world's biggest experiments.

On January 3 a couple were walking on the eastern side of King Island in the Bass Strait when they came across the bottle.

With two barnacles attached the only indicator it had been in the water for so long, the couple opened it and saw the message.

"This message in a bottle was sent in the Drake Passage on 19 Jan 2013 by Mr John Toonen," it read.

"If found please respond by mail or email."

Mr Toonen is now planning his next experiment.

Topics:  antarctic, cruise, message in a bottle, science




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