Message in a Bottle Found 76 Years Later, Delivered to Writer’s Family

Geoff Flood was walking along a beach in New Zealand in November when he stumbled across a message in a bottle that was cast into the ocean over 76 years ago.

The message read:

“At sea. Would the finder of this bottle kindly forward this note, where found, date, to under mentioned address. H. E. Hillbrick, 72, Richmond Street, Leederville, Western Australia.”

Herbert Hillbrick cast the message in a bottle out to sea in 1936.

The note had been dated March 17, 1936.

Flood spotted the bottle while walking along Ninety Mile Beach in New Zealand. He noticed that inside the bottle was an old envelope with the letterhead of P&O and a ship’s name, SS Strathnaver.

The man tracked down the address, but discovered that the writer, Herbert Hillbrick, had passed away in 1940. However, Flood did get in contact with Hillbrick’s grandson, Peter Hillbrick, who lives in Perth, Australia. The grandson said that he had never met his grandfather, but indeed confirmed that Hillbrick had been aboard the SS Strathnaver in 1936.

“Who knows where it’s been. How many times around the world, you just wouldn’t know, would you?” Flood commented to local media.

Hillbick donated the bottle to a maritime museum in New Zealand. Pretty amazing. Inspires you to want to just write a message in a bottle and chuck it out to sea, doesn’t it?

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