Message in bottle turns up after 30 years in Netherlands

Carl Marchant's message in a bottle
Image caption The message was found in sand dunes during a beach clean on the island of Terschelling

A message in a bottle thrown into the sea off the Kent coast 30 years ago has been unearthed in the Netherlands.

It was written by five-year-old Carl Marchant from Dartford and thrown from Admiralty Pier in Dover while he was fishing with his father in August 1987.

The bottle was found in sand dunes nearly 400 miles (643 km) away on the island of Terschelling last weekend.

Mr Marchant, who was tracked down by a Dutch radio presenter via BBC Radio Kent and Facebook, said he was shocked.

"I remember throwing bottles into the water but I couldn't remember when until I actually saw the letter," he said.

"We used to do it every time we went fishing in a different place."

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Frank van Dijk, a radio presenter with Omroep Gelderland in Arnhem, said the bottle was discovered during a beach clean and had probably been buried for many years.

"Between the 1960s and 90s the dunes were held in place by bulldozers, so after every storm they shovelled the sand into the dunes," he told BBC Radio Kent.

The message from the five-year-old said he had come to Dover "with my mummy and daddy to do some fishing".

Mr Marchant, who now lives in Faversham, said: "I've given up throwing letters into the sea, but I've got a son and I might get him to do it now."

Image caption Carl Marchant used to throw messages into the sea every time he went fishing with his father