Messages from the Sea at Christmas

What better gift for a loved one (or yourself) this Christmas than the Messages from the Sea book?! It contains 100 messages found in bottles around the world, including some website favourites plus previously unseen book exclusives, with accompanying notes and illustrations.

Also included is an introductory history of the message in a bottle. The book is printed on responsibly sourced paper and has a soft-touch matte cover with design by Franzi. You can read more about the book here.

The book is available in paperback, hardback and Kindle editions, from Amazon.co.uk in the UK, Amazon.com in the US, and from Amazon stores worldwide.

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Merry Christmas!

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Most popular Messages from the Sea

The top ten most popular Messages from the Sea, based on stats from our website’s first two years:

Titanic Sinking
One of several messages said to be from the famous White Star liner.
Know I Died Happy
A final message from George J Mills of the Spanish Queen.
A Pretty Little Boy
A poem found inside an 11ft shark.
The Body in a Well
Is this murder confession, found off the white cliffs of Dover, genuine?
Inside a Cod
A remarkable message found inside the stomach of a cod.
I Know I Cannot Escape
A sad message from William Graham on board the Pacific.
Lifting of the Body
This message reveals a grave-robbbing mystery.
Look After My Boy
A sad farewell from the missing steamship City of Boston.
God Help Us
What fate befell the schooner Lizzie?
I Expect My Turn Will Come Next
John Marshall of the Bavaria’s last, desperate plea.

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Waiting Death Now

Found 23 May 1901, Firth of Forth, off Granton.

In a bottle:

Croft. Mid ocean, Atlantic. Sinking fast. No hope. All hands going down. No time. Whoever gets this note, send at once to my wife, Mrs Haggart, Churchill Terrace, Edinburgh. Farewell. Waiting death now.

The 800ft steel steamer Croft sailed from Leith to New York on 27 December 1898, then left New York for the return journey on 26 January 1899. “A great storm prevailed in the Atlantic when she was out,” reported the Shields Daily News, “and this is the first word from the steamer and crew of thirty.” The message was said to have caused great distress in Leith, and also in the Croft’s home port of Newcastle. It was reported that the official crew list did not contain the name Haggart.

[Shields Daily News, 24 May 1901]

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Lifeboats upset

Found 18 September 1920, in the water off Pier 1, Hoboken, New York.

In a bottle, written in pencil on blue note paper:

3 P.M.
Four lifeboats upset, twelve passengers and eight of crew lost. Water, food and whiskey giving out. The bottle in which this message is found contained the last water we had. Two cases of whiskey and canned goods left, which will keep the rest alive about one day. This is our only way of calling for help. We hope this will be picked up and will bring aid.
– Captain H, W. Dodge, per second mate J.B. Bulton, Chicago, Ill. Vessel the Hepigon.

A further message suggested that the Hepigon had been shelled and sunk by a German raider on 14 July 1915, 24 miles southeast of Norfolk, Virginia. 47 people were killed in the attack, and the remaining 21 passengers and 35 crew had escaped into seven lifeboats, in rough seas, rain and fog. However, no record could be found of the Hepigon (or Nepigon), and it was concluded that the message was “probably deposited in the waters of New York bay by someone with a twisted sense of humour”.

[Sun and New York Herald, 19 September 1920]

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All the Boys Merry

Found 5 November 1914, Brightstone, Isle of Wight.

In a bottle, on two sides of a piece of paper:

Sunday, September 10th.
From some boys of the Warwicks off for the final at Berlin. Signed T.H. Rafferty, J.H. Scott, S. Rollins, S.W. Owen, T.C.L. Rosser, T. Hubball, and B. Rawlins.
All the boys merry under strenuous conditions. Hope the finder is O.K. Write to wife and baby.
Mrs Rafferty, 8, Hailliley Street, Handsworth.

The 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment sailed from Southampton to Boulogne on board the SS Caledonia on 22 September 1914. Thomas Henry Rafferty, the writer of this message, was a tramway worker from Handsworth, Birmingham. He was married with a daughter. He was killed in action at Ypres on 25 April 1915. His body was never found.

[Birmingham Mail, 21 November 1914]

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