Heartwarming twist after swimmer finds message in bottle: 'Planets aligned'

The recipient hopes the discovery will spark a 'lifelong friendship'.

An ocean swimmer who found a message in a bottle bobbing along the NSW coastline has spectacularly returned the "treasure" to its original sender.

After travelling over 300 kilometres, the bottle, which was launched by then 10-year-old Vicky, reached Scott Gutterson in Jervis Bay last month after 812 days in the ocean.

Left, Scott Gutterson can be seen wearing a wet suit with snorkel gear on, holding an umbrella he found in the ocean. Right, the message in the bottle can be seen on the beach where it was found.
The avid swimmer found the message in a bottle during a routine swim last month at Jervis Bay. Source: Facebook/ScottGutterson

After contacting her dad Ted, the "grateful" recipient was finally able to pass the note back to the young writer on Easter Sunday, presenting her with a thoughtfully collated frame.

"It tells a bit of the story around finding it," Scott explained to Yahoo News Australia. "It includes a couple of news articles and also a little map of where it travelled from Newcastle back down to Jervis Bay, as well as the original letter."

Vicky and Ted were delighted by the "insane" gesture when they travelled to Scott's Gerringong home, where the father-daughter duo met Scott's wife and children.

Scott and Vicky can be seen smiling together side by side, while Vicky holds the frame she was gifted which includes the original note she sent.
Scott and Vicky met in person over the Easter weekend in Gerringong, with the handwritten note pasted by to the now 12-year-old writer. Source: Supplied

'Uncanny' connections between strangers

After learning both men had navy backgrounds and ties to the coastal town where the Scott resides, the pair couldn't believe how many strange similarities their seemingly parallel lives had — with Scott's wife previously living in the very same Newcastle street where Ted's grandparents met.

"I don’t believe in any of that kind of stuff, I’m not very spiritual. But sometimes, you get these connections and you think, ‘the world is trying to tell you something here'," Scott said, believing the "planets aligned" when he found the message in the bottle.

Reflecting on the entire experience, the avid swimmer simply feels thankful and hopes his discovery will spark the beginning of something great.

"This small little interconnection could create a lifelong friendship and potentially that’s what will happen," he said.

"I really hope in 10 years time I’m chatting to Vicky and Ted and we’re still discussing this story."

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