© 2006 Dennis O'Clair
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The bottle washed ashore after Hurricane Irma.

By Marisa Spyker

While finding a message in a bottle might be the Holy Grail for beachcombers, it’s a pretty rare feat. What’s even rarer? Finding one that’s spent more than 30 years splashing around in the middle of the Atlantic.

When Ruth and Lee Huenniger were out inspecting damage from Hurricane Irma near their Key Largo home, they found quite the surprise.

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The message, which was undated, appeared to be from a group of school children from the eastern coast of Scotland.

The Huennigers wrote to the class, and received a note back from the now-retired teacher, Fiona Cargill, who’d assigned the project.

The message, written by a group of elementary-age students, was more than three decades old. The students? All in their mid- to late- 30s now.

Cargill told WSVN-TV in Miami the class was studying pirates at the time, and decided that perhaps pirates might communicate by sending messages in bottles. So they wrote the note and found a fisherman to cast the bottle off on its journey in the North Sea.

Since the bottle made landfall in the balmy Keys, the Huennigers have heard from a few of the students, all surprised that their little class project traveled so far.

One student told InsideEdition.com that five bottles were actually thrown, and the only other to be recovered was one that landed in the Faroe Islands shortly after it was tossed into the sea.

Which means there are three more out there, aspiring message-in-a-bottle finders. So happy hunting.