Ruby (7) gets reply and a new pal from her lucky message in a bottle
When seven-year-old Ruby Small threw her message in a bottle into the sea off Ireland's Eye five weeks ago, she didn't really expect a response.
"I thought the lid wasn't on properly and the water would get in," said Ruby from Howth Road in Clontarf in Dublin.
Yesterday to her absolute surprise the postman delivered a letter from a 10-year-old girl in Blackpool who found Ruby's bottle with the message inside and wrote back.
"It was amazing," Ruby told the Herald. "I'll definitely do it again.
"I didn't think anybody would get it, and if they did sometimes it can take ages to get a reply."
Ruby decided to throw her bottle in the water during a family boat trip.
Her parents, Jenny and Peter, and her brothers Peter (19) and Harry (12) were on the trip with her along with a group of friends.
Pete said: "We were going from Malahide to Bray and the boat broke down at the back of Ireland's Eye.
"We had to pump water out of the engine area and we were there for a while. When Ruby threw the bottle in the water everyone was slagging her about it."
He explained that Ruby had written the message and brought the bottle with her on the boat trip so it could be dropped out at sea.
"It was a glass bottle. I use them to bring water to work and she had taken one to put the message in it."
The little girl explained that she decided to drop her bottled message in the water when the boat engine was stalled.
"When I threw it in, it floated away," she said.
Her message simply said: "My name is Ruby. I am seven and I live in Dublin. If you find this please write to me." She included her address.
Ruby's message was found by a girl called Rhianne who was on the beach in Blackpool.
The 10-year-old replied giving her name and address and explaining that she had found the bottle when she was collecting shells under the pier with her brother and sister.
"I'm going to write back to her now," added Ruby who is in second class at Oliver Plunkett's National School in Malahide.
Ruby explained that she got the idea for a bottle message from a girl in her class who was also fortuitous.
"She got a message from someone and then I thought I'd send one," she said.