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Fisherman Found Message in a Bottle Sent by Third-Grader 4,000 Miles Away




  • Vivian Byerly, an upcoming fifth-grader from North Carolina, wrote a message and put in a bottle in 2019 during “Pirate Day.”
  • The bottle travelled over 4,000 miles and landed in North Africa.
  • A fisherman from Morocco found it after 15 months and wrote the student back.
  • The student’s inspiring message came at an opportune moment as the world faces this coronavirus pandemic.

Vivian Byerly, an upcoming fifth-grader at the Greensboro Day School, wrote a simple yet inspiring note in May 2019.

After finishing a unit on North Carolina coastal plain, their class opted to celebrate “Pirate Day.” Their teacher Ms. Susan Ferguson then asked them to write a note “with the thought being whoever may find the bottle would have a little bright spot, or a little inspiration in their day.”

Ms. Ferguson and her students, enjoying the activities during Pirate Day.

The messages, which the class placed inside their respective bottles, were taken on a boat that participated in the yearly “Reelin’ for Research Fishing,” a tournament by GDS parent, Tyler Richardson.

Afterwards, the bottles were dropped 60 miles off the coast of Morehead City and into the Gulf Stream.

More than a year later, Vivian’s teacher was astounded to receive an email from someone who actually found one of her student’s letters.

A fisherman from Morocco in North Africa got Vivian’s letter.

However, the man is not proficient in English so he asked his nephew to translate the note, which read:

Be strong because things will get better. It may be storming now, but it doesn’t rain forever.

If you get this message, please write back,” Vivian added, writing down her teacher ‘s email address on the note.

Writing back, the fisherman’s nephew replied:

Hello Vivian. How are you? I wish you are fine. I’m writing to tell you that my uncle, who his job is fisherman, had found today your letter inside the bottle. So he gived to me to write to you. “

Ms. Ferguson wrote back and asked the men for pictures; and they obliged.

The men sent photos of themselves and the bottle Vivian had cast.
It was found on White Beach, near Guelmim city.

Vivian still communicates with the family in Morocco.

It’s kind of strange that this quote got delivered now. At all times where the world’s at now,” she said. “When I first wrote the message I was not aware how tough this year would be,” she added.

Bryan Byerly, Vivian’s father said, “It was a little bit like looking back in time, at a time before, you know, 2020. These crises we’re going through right now are temporary, and things will get better soon.”

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