Mystery of message in a bottle ends in Portadown

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The story of a message in a bottle recently reported on national media has taken something of a twist - bringing it all the way back to beach free Portadown.

It has now emerged that the bottle that travelled from Northern Ireland to the Mediterranean didn’t have quite the incredible journey that was first thought - with Portadown’s Adam Burke responsible for depositing the bottle on Monday.

It had initially been thought a completely different Adam Burke had thrown the bottle in the sea at Bangor 13 years ago.

However, it has now been learned the bottle was thrown into the waters off Menorca on Monday while seven year-old Adam Burke was on holiday.

On Thursday a much older Adam Burke said he thought it was one he had thrown into the sea at Bangor 13 years ago.

The bottle was found near the town of Ciutadella on Tuesday

The note Spaniard Albert Voltas found said: “Hello from Bangor N.I. from Adam Burke age 7.”

The Spanish holidaymaker put out a global social media message to try to track down the Adam Burke in question.

The message went viral and Adam Burke, 20, from County Tyrone, thought it was his - having throwing a message in a bottle into the sea in Bangor 13 years ago during a day trip with his grandparents.

His story was widely told across broadcast media but when the family of Portadown’s Adam Burke saw the coverage, they realised it was in fact their bottle.

His father, Gregory, said: “Adam and his friends Alex, Evan and Lewis were at a maritime festival in Bangor last month and made the bottles.

“When he got home, Adam realised he’d forgotten to throw his bottle in the water.

“We live in Portadown, nowhere near the sea, so we decided to wait until we went on holiday to Menorca. He threw it in the sea on Monday.

“It’s definitely Adam’s bottle. I got him to write out the note again just to check it was the same handwriting!”

As for the other Adam Burke, he said: “It’s just been a genuine coincidence. A lot of people threw bottles in the sea when they were younger, particularly in Bangor.

“It turns out the one in Menorca wasn’t mine after all.”

It means instead of a 2,000 mile 13 year trip, the bottle only travelled about 200 metres in 24 hours.