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On the Bright Side

June 20, 2013

Cooperstown boy's message in bottle found

Trent Cooper waited three years to launch his message in a bottle near the ocean, and he hoped that the bottle would travel great distances and be found by someone.

One out of two wishes coming true wasn’t bad.

“I was pretty excited that someone found it,” he said. “It didn’t go far, but it was still pretty cool.”

Cooper, 11, who finishes fifth grade today at Cooperstown Central School, got a kit from Riverwood as a birthday gift in 2010. He wrote a note, added a picture of himself and sealed up the bottle with some glue. It wasn’t until his family went on vacation this spring that he finally sent it.

While staying in Savannah, Ga., Cooper launched his bottle from Skidaway Island State Park with hopes that it would go out to sea. Instead, it washed up onto Raccoon Key, a deserted island not far from the Atlantic, where it was found by the Chisholm family.

“It is very cool, like finding treasure,” said Alice Chisholm. “I feel like we should throw another one back into the ocean.”

Chisholm’s husband, Andy, and adult daughter, Jane Eliza, were fishing for triple tails not far from their Vernonburg home in the Savannah suburbs when they came upon the small island in the Ossabaw Sound.

The surrounding islands are state and federally owned and do not allow dogs on them in the spring because of bird and turtle nesting. Andy Chisholm said he had his golden retriever, Boss, with them that day, June 1, so they decided to anchor their 20-foot Grady White and enjoy the solitude of Raccoon Key.

“It is a great place for the dog to roam,” he said. “We got out and were just walking around,” when Jane Eliza found the bottle.

The wax had not kept a complete seal and part of the message and Cooper’s photo were washed out. From what the Chisholms read, they thought that the bottle had been launched in 2010, perhaps from Cooperstown.

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