An American teenager has been brought to the Donegal beach where his message in a bottle washed up by the Belfast based couple who found it.
Sasha Yonyak was 11 years old when his friend and neighbour, a fisherman called Mr Wayne helped him throw the message into the sea from Ocean City in Maryland.
Sasha told UTV: “Wayne said it could be one year, it could be two years, it could be five years, ten years or we might never ever see it again.”
The bottle sailed over 3000 miles across the Atlantic and was found intact more than three years later by Rita Simmonds and her husband Ciaran Marron.
The couple were walking on Magheraroarty Beach last January when they spotted the message inside the bottle wrapped in two dollar bills.
Ciaran describes it as their most treasured find.
“I knew this was special from the moment I found it," he said.
"I told Rita this is big, this will take us on a journey. An emotional journey.”
They tracked Sasha down after contacting a local newspaper in Maryland and a transatlantic friendship began.
Sasha is now 14 and he travelled to Ireland along with his Dad to meet Ciaran and Rita.
They took them to the spot where the bottle was discovered.
The trip to the beach in Donegal was made in memory of Mr Wayne who has passed away.
Despite the age gap, Sasha and Mr. Wayne had developed a close bond and often went fishing together.
Sasha says : “Never in a million years could I have imagined the bottle would wash up here. The bottle has a lot of memories trapped inside of it.”
Sasha has taken the bottle with the message he wrote back inside to his home in America.
He plans to throw another message into the sea off the coast of Donegal at a later date.
Rita and Ciaran also keep in touch with Sasha on a weekly basis.
The message in a bottle that travelled so far has brought them all together.
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