1. ITV Report

Russian sailor's 1969 message in a bottle washes up in Alaska

A Russian message in a bottle found by Tyler Ivanoff. Credit: Tyler Ivanoff/PA

A message in a bottle launched into the sea by a Russian sailor during the Cold War has been found 50 years later 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.

He added: "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."

The message in a bottle was found by Tyler Ivanoff as he was gathering firewood Credit: Tyler Ivanoff

Mr Ivanoff shared his discovery on social media, 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 which he sailed on until 1970, Mr Botsanenko said.

The message was written by Anatoliy Botsanenko Credit: 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.

He said: "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."