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Bottle shock

Fisherman surprised to receive ‘mail’ at sea

Hand holding bottle containing note, flowers
The bottle that Zac Marriner and Bethany Wright cast into the sea contained a note and dried flowers. Image: Wright

A Gaza fisherman recently received his first piece of personal “mail” — a message in a bottle.

While fishing, 54-year-old Jihad al-Soltan caught the bobbing bottle with a parchment note and dried flowers inside and took it home.

“Hello! Thank you for picking up this bottle,” the message read. “We … would love to know how far this bottle got.”

The bottle had traveled almost 500 miles across the Mediterranean Sea from the Greek island of Rhodes to isolated Gaza, where all mail must pass through Israeli security.

British couple Zac Marriner and Bethany Wright had sent the note while vacationing a month earlier.

Soltan asked his son-in-law to reply to the email address Marriner and Wright had included.

“I want[ed] them to know that Gazans are nice people and wish to have a nice life like theirs,” Soltan told NPR. “We wish to be able to travel and do such romantic things.”

Wright said the bottle’s arrival in Gaza “illustrates greatly how we are just all one world, all connected by one ocean.”

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