Message in a bottle lands in Iceland

Rebekah Ward
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10-year-old's note makes 2,621-kilometre voyage by sea

Brigitte Bjarnason and her 22-year-old son Sven hold the Newfoundland message they uncovered from a plastic bottle in Iceland. — Submitted photo

Twelve years after then-10-year-old Colin Greene released a message in a bottle off the coast of Newfoundland, an Icelandic woman, Brigitte Bjarnason, is searching for its sender.

"Last year, when I walked with my son and husband along the south coast of Iceland, we found an ugly-looking (plastic bottle) in the sand pretty far from the shore," Bjarnason wrote in an email.

"Something white, which looked like a piece of paper, was in the bottle and we tried to get it out.

"It was a letter from a 10-year-old boy from St. John's, Newfoundland, who asked to mail him when someone found his message."

Bjarnason was walking along the shore between Thorlákshöfn and Strandakirkja on April 19, 2012 when she made her find.

She doesn't know why she was drawn to look at the bottle more closely.

"It was a common plastic bottle (filled with sand), about 20 metres from the sea with no label on it, and it had clearly been laying there for some time," Bjarnason wrote.

"The landscape there is pretty desolate, nobody lives there, there is only black lava and a little bit of sand."

Bjarnason's youngest son Sven was with her when she found the bottle, along with her husband. Sven is 22 years old, the same age Colin would now be.

"It was a little bit exciting to find a message from Newfoundland here in Iceland. Shortly after we found it I wrote a postcard to the address that was written on the paper, but so far we haven't got a reply," Bjarnason wrote.

The family lives in Hafnarfjördur, a suburb of the Icelandic capital Reykjavík. St. John's is 2,621 kilometres from Reykjavík, according to Colin's flimsy plastic bottle had to make a hefty trip to land in the area of the Bjarnasons' home.

Bjarnason figures the bottle may have followed the same course as Leif Ericson, who is believed to be the first European to land in North America.

"According to the Sagas of Icelanders, (Ericson) established a Norse settlement at Vinland, tentatively identified with the Norse L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland," Bjarnason wrote.

Bjarnason hopes to make contact with Colin eventually, and let him know that his message didn't end up lost at sea.

If you know Colin Greene or can help us contact him, please email or phone 364-2323 Ext. 311.

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Iceland, St. John's Reykjavík Hafnarfjördur North America

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Recent comments

  • C Folla
    July 20, 2013 - 18:21

    There is a Colin Greene on twitter from Newfoundland, did you try that?

  • Neti Forsyth
    July 19, 2013 - 18:49

    There are 11 Phone # in the phone book for Colin Greene in Neufoundland Have you tried them?

  • Leona Milbury
    July 19, 2013 - 09:01

    I know a couple of people in St.John's Newfoundland who have Family in other parts of Newfoundland and I will share this on my facebook page and hope you have good luck finding Colin Leona in Nova Scotia,Canada

  • annonymous
    July 16, 2013 - 08:01

    im from newfoundland and that name seems so familiar

  • Randy
    July 15, 2013 - 15:31

    The name Brigitte Bjarnason is not possible in Iceland. Brigitte is a female name and Bjarnason indicates that the person is the son of Björn. Icelanders don't have family names. I imagine that the 22 year-old is Sven Bjarnason (IE - his father, Brigitte's husband, is Björn). Brigitte would be xxxx-dóttir, where the xxxx represents the possesive form of a parent's name. The reporter probably saw Sven's name and assumed that Brigette had the same "last" name.

    • Rebekah
      July 19, 2013 - 10:19

      Randy, thank you for your comment. This is how Brigitte refers to herself; she signed all of our e-mail correspondences with her full name. Her son's name is actually Sven Jónasson, as her husband's name is Jónas.

  • cora synyard windsor
    July 15, 2013 - 12:54

    Mrs.Brigitte Bjarnason,I saw your message I shared it to my wall I hope you have some luck getting in touch with the young man Colin Greene who threw the bottle it in ocean.

  • A
    July 15, 2013 - 07:27

    Try facebooking the name Colin Greene and sending a message to all of them you never know you may find him that way.

    • Me
      July 16, 2013 - 11:56

      I did that