A 10-year-old girl has been revealed as the person behind a message in a bottle that washed up in Norway from her former home in Skegness.
Caris Humble, of Rotherham, would have been six when she threw the bottle into the sea at Ingoldmells on October 18, 2014. It would go on to be found 425 miles away, on the far side of the North Sea, more than six months later.
Two weeks ago, The Standard ran an appeal from the man who found the bottle – retired bank worker Ole Kr. Ruud, 72, of Mandal, Norway – to trace Caris.
Caris’ name and address had been included on the message inside the bottle, along with a request for the finder to let her know where it was discovered.
Ole wrote to the address, but got a reply to say Caris had ‘gone away’. He contacted The Standard after finding the letter again recently.
A friend of Caris’ mum Rebecca Wilcock, 36, spotted the appeal and told the family about it, leading to them also getting in touch with The Standard. Their contact details have now been passed on to Ole.
Rebecca spoke of Caris’ reaction to the press coverage.
“She said ‘I’m in the paper, I’m in the paper, Mum, I’m a celebrity’,” she said. “She told all her friends, she told everyone.”
Remembering that day in October 2014, Caris said her grandmother had asked her if she wanted to send a message in a bottle and she had said yes. Caris’ grandad got the bottle, her grandmother wrote the message and then Caris added a drawing of the Titanic to it. To help protect the message, they added glue around the top of the bottle.
“I find it brilliant that it landed in Norway,” said Caris, who thanked Ole for finding it.
“I might do another bottle when I go see my Mum’s friend in Skegness,” she said on whether she would send any more.
On hearing Caris had come forward, Ole told The Standard: “When I was told that Caris was found, there was a big smile on my face and I shouted at my wife ‘Now Caris is found!’
“Now I want to send her a greeting and am excited about what she can tell about the day the bottle was thrown into the sea,” he said. “Perhaps she looked forward to a pen pal who was not as old as me?”