Geoff Flood was walking on the beach at Ninety Mile Island, NZ when he discovered the bottle. Inside was a note on P&O headed paper, carrying the ship’s name SS Srathnaver, and the name H E Hillbrook.

The message read: “At sea. Would the finder of this bottle kindly forward this note… to undermentioned address.”

Mr Flood set about investigating who Mr Hillbrook was, discovering that he was a Mr Herbert Ernest Hillbrook, who had passed away in the 1940s. He contacted Herbert Hillbrook’s family, and returned the bottle and message to his grandson Peter, who lives in Perth, Australia.

“The only connection I have to grandfather now is that bottle,” Peter Hillbrook told Sky News of the astonishing discovery.

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