A SCHOOLBOY was in unchartered waters after his message in a bottle was delivered Down Under – after a nine thousand mile trip spanning more than a year!
Cade Scott, nine, from Hindmarch Drive in West Boldon, was inspired to fill an empty wine bottle with a Doctor Who postcard and let it loose at Roker Harbour on August 26, 2011, after hearing of a miracle missive that had made its way to Norway.
Cade’s bottle went from home turf to Perth, where it provided an extra Christmas gift to an unsuspecting Aussie.
The Doctor Who postcard was swiftly despatched back to the borough on January 7, with a note from its recipient, Matthew Elam, reaching Cade on Saturday, January 12.
But the incredible 16-month journey was nearly blown out of the water before the bottle crashed through its first wave.
The West Boldon Primary School pupil and dad Terry Scott, 42, had first tried to send the bottle out to sea in Seaburn, but it washed back on shore after travelling only a mere few metres.
Father and son then took a trip to Roker Harbour determined to succeed second time round.
Mr Scott, 42, a night-shift manager at Asda, said: “We tried to send off the bottle at Seaburn but it kept washing up, so we drove up to Roker and tried again. It is phenomenal. You wonder where that bottle has been and what it has seen. It is a once-in-a-life-time thing. The fact it even got out of the English Channel was impressive enough.”
Delighted Cade, who lives with dad Terry, mum Andrea, 44, and 15-year-old brother Kai, has already taken the returned postcard and message from Australia into school to impress his pals.
He said: “I had got some Doctor Who postcards in a magazine and decided to use one of them to put in the bottle.
“I was just amazed it had gone so far. I thought it had sunk in the North Sea.”
The message found its way to Matthew Elam, 25, who wrote back: “Thanks for your postcard. I found it whilst celebrating Christmas on the beach here in Perth, Western Australia, Happy New Year.”
Cade has tried to find Matthew on Facebook and Twitter and plans to send a reply - though he will be using a traditional envelope and stamp rather than a bottle this time.