Message in a Bottle

Message sent adrift nearly 40 years ago from N.

Someone, possibly a New Jersey firefighter, put a message in a bottle in 1969 and sent it out to sea.

That bottle and the note inside washed up on shore, 400 miles away in Corolla, North Carolina and someone found it, nearly 40 years later! That someone just happened to be from Downingtown, Pa.

The note was dated Aug. 17, 1969 and read: "If found notify the North Haledon Fire Co. #2, 568 High Mountain Rd., North Haledon, NJ 07508. Released note off Barnegat Ridge," according to

Barnegat Ridge is a popular Jersey Shore fishing spot, about 15 miles offshore from Barnegat Bay.

Mark Ciarmello, a resident of Downingtown, Pa., 33 miles west of Philadelphia, said he and his 3-year-old daughter were walking through the sand dunes when he noticed the bottle.

"The week we were down there, it was pretty windy," Ciarmello said, adding that there had just been a storm. "I think it blew a lot of the sand away. We found a lot of bottles that day."

Ciarmello said he initially thought it was just another old bottle. When he held it up to the light, he noticed there was something inside.

"It looks like it was buried the whole time. The storm just knocked it loose. It looks perfect. I couldn't believe the thing was 39 years old."

Once Ciarmello realized what he had, he called the borough of North Haledon. The chief isn't sure who put the message in that bottle so many years ago, but he said there was a longheld tradition of doing that, when volunteer firefighters would go fishing together.

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