‘Oldest message in a bottle’ breaks world record

The bottle was released into the North Sea in 1906 and found by a woman on a beach in Amrum, Germany, last year Credit: Marine Biological Association/PA

A message in a bottle which washed up more than 108 years after it was thrown into the sea has been confirmed as the world's oldest.

Inside was a postcard asking that it be sent to the Marine Biological Association of the UK - and promising the sender a shilling if they returned the bottle.

The association in Plymouth said the bottle was one of some 1,000 released as part of research carried out by marine expert George Parker Bidder.

After 108 years, four months and 18 days, retired postal worker Marianne Winkler found the bottle in April last year during her holiday on Amrum - about 310 miles from the UK.

The postcard found inside the bottle appears in good condition Credit: Marine Biological Association/PA

She sent it back to the UK and received an old English shilling (5p) in return.

Guinness World Records has confirmed the message in a bottle as the world's oldest.

According to Baker, George Parker Bidder released 1,200 bottles between 1904-1906, but estimated that 55% were trawled up by fishermen each year.

He said "some bottles were never returned, assumed to be lost in the open ocean forever. The bottle discovered in Germany was from a set released on November 30 1906."

The previous record for a message in a bottle was 99 years and 43 days . It was found west of the Shetland Islands in July 2013.