Man finds 50-year-old message in bottle sent from Russian Navy

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Russian media managed to track down the man who sent the note, Anatoliy Botsanenko.

A message in a bottle found by Tyler Ivanoff

A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.

Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref, about 600 miles northwest of Anchorage, according to KNOM-AM radio.

“I was just gathering firewood,” Mr Ivanoff said.

“I just happened to stumble across the bottle, and I noticed it was a green bottle and had a cork top. Not really cork, it was a tight cap, and I could see inside the bottle there was a note.”

A message in a bottle found by Tyler Ivanoff
The message in a bottle was found by Tyler Ivanoff as he was gathering firewood (Tyler Ivanoff)

Mr Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook, where Russian speakers translated the message as a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated 1969, officials said.

The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who found it.

Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network Russia-1 tracked down the original writer, Captain Anatoliy Botsanenko.


“It looks like my handwriting. For sure! East industry fishing fleet! E-I-F-F!” Mr Botsanenko said.

The message was sent while he was aboard the Sulak, a ship whose construction he oversaw in 1966 and that he sailed on until 1970, Mr Botsanenko said.

A message in a bottle found by Tyler Ivanoff
The message was written by Anatoliy Botsanenko (Tyler Ivanoff)

When shown pictures of the bottle and note, Mr Botsanenko welled up, officials said.


At one point in his career, he was the youngest captain in the Pacific at 33 years old, Mr Botsanenko added.

Mr Ivanoff said he was not sure if he would return a message, but was considering writing his own letters with his children.

“But that’s something I could probably do with my kids in the future. Just send a message in a bottle out there and see where it goes,” Mr Ivanoff said.

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