Message in a bottle makes 1,500-mile, two year journey across the Pacific to the shores of Papua New Guinea after being dropped overboard by American girl, 17, while sailing across Equator
- Niki Nie dropped a letter while sailing to the Marshall Islands from Vanuatu
- The message was found by Steven Amos on Panasesa island two years later
- They struck an unlikely friendship after they connected over a video call
A message in a bottle dropped by an American girl was found nearly two years later after traveling 1,500 miles to Papua New Guinea.
Conservation ranger Steven Amos found the message dropped by 17-year-old Niki Nie while he was cleaning the beachfront on Panasesa island.
Niki was sailing to the Marshall Islands from Vanuatu with her family when she dropped the bottle while crossing the equator on January 8, 2019.
She left her email in the message and the pair struck an unlikely friendship nearly two years later over a chat on Zoom.
A message in a bottle dropped by American Niki Nie (pictured centre, with her family), 17, was found nearly two years later after traveling 1,500 miles to Papua New Guinea
Niki was sailing to the Marshall Islands from Vanuatu with her family when she dropped the bottle while crossing the equator on January 8, 2019
In the letter, Niki explained she had been living in the Pacific for six years while her parents did humanitarian work.
The message said: ‘We lived aboard our 60-foot sailboat, my family, my parents, my older brother, and I and our dog, Bella.
I suppose if you are reading this, it means that this bottle has survived its long journey and managed to safely land in your hands.
‘I hope it finds you well! I am extremely curious to know where this bottle landed and how long it took to get there.’
Steven said he was so excited he could not sleep when he found the letter nearly two years later.
Conservation ranger Steven Amos found the message dropped by Niki while he was cleaning the beachfront on Panasesa island
He told ABC: ‘Oh, I was so excited. I was so excited because this is my first time coming across [something like] this.
‘And then I really wanted to find the owner of this and be a friend to her. I opened it and I was shocked.’
He tried to contact her via the email address written in the letter but the message bounced.
But a social media post eventually found its way to her and they were able to meet over a video call.
Niki told the Guardian: ‘When I threw the bottle overboard, I never imagined that I would actually meet the person who found my message.
In the letter, Niki explained she had been living in the Pacific for six years while her parents did humanitarian work, doing translation
‘I also would never have guessed that it would have landed in Alotau, Papua New Guinea – but it’s incredibly amazing.
‘I just wanted to leave a little piece, a memory bobbing around the ocean that we spent so much time in.’
She told ABC: ‘I was shocked, I ran upstairs, I immediately started telling my parents.’
Niki had returned to the US to begin college in Washington DC by the time the message in a bottle had travelled 1,500 miles (2,400km) to Papua New Guinea.
During the call, Steven invited Niki to the Conflict Islands after coronavirus restrictions ease.
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