New York boy's message in a bottle reaches Azores

Message in a bottle Curtis Kipple had tears in his eyes when he learned his message had been found, says his teacher

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An 11-year-old US boy was stunned to get a reply to his message in a bottle from Portugal's Azores Islands - via the more surefire medium of email.

Curtis Kipple wrote a letter about himself and his hometown in New York state, and put it in a bottle which was dropped into the Atlantic in March.

The message was found last week by Ana Ponte, 25, from the fishing village of Terceira, on the Azores archipelago.

The fifth-grader's bottle had travelled 2,600 miles (4,190km).

"My brother and my father wake up earlier today and went to sea to catch a seafood very common here, and found a bottle with a message from a boy Curtis Kipple," said Ms Ponte's email - written in both English and Portuguese - to Curtis's school.

The bottle was set adrift 10 months ago by a fisherman off North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Chris Albrecht - Curtis's teacher at Fred W Hill School in Brockport, New York state - said the project had really caught the children's imagination.

"Curtis had tears in his eyes when I told him the news," said Mr Albrecht.

The boy's bottled message was not the first to be found - another was discovered in Nova Scotia in June - but Curtis's has travelled the farthest.

Mr Albrecht, who teaches language, arts and science, said it was a useful exercise for teaching children about geography and how to write formal letters.

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