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A cleanup crew on Horn Island in the Gulf found something even more rare than oil last week. While most cleanup crews, surveillance planes, and skimmer crews have been having an increasingly hard time finding oil, this crew found a message in a floating bottle. It was actually five messages, each dry and separately wrapped in the bottle, and on reading them, the crew found them to be addressed to a Welsh soldier named Private James Prosser. The crew couldn’t read all of the text, but they found Prosser’s mother’s address, one Sarah Adams. They did an internet search for Prosser and Adams and then sent email to a Welsh newspaper, the South Wales Argus. According to the shift supervisor, one Doug Kirchoff, the crew received emails back from both the soldier’s mother and sister. James Prosser, aged 21, had been serving in Afghanistan and had been killed in September, 2009 by a roadside bomb. Apparently, the family had gone to Barbados for a vacation in January 2010, where they wrote the five letters to James.

  • “(James’) favorite drink was sambuca, so they had gone out to sea to take a toast,” said Kirchoff.

Sambuca is an Italian liqueur with an anise flavor. On finishing the letters, they had put them in the sambuca bottle and tossed it into the Caribbean Sea. In seven months, the bottle traveled 1,300 miles to Horn Island, where the cleanup crew fished it out of the water. The letters were tributes to James. “The message was all about James, how much we loved him and how much we miss him,” said Mrs. Adams.

  • “I wanted to make everyone aware that we’re responsible for the world we live in and not to forget the soldiers who have given up their lives. It was an open letter to anyone who found it – but I never thought it would be seen again. I’m so delighted it has been found by such caring people and that James has touched their lives as well.”

Many predictions have been made about the effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill but none has mentioned a message in a bottle. It seems scientists are not as prescient as they think they are. The experienced attorneys at Long & Long, PC are ready to help if you have been harmed by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Please send us an email today and we will respond promptly.

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