Gulf
For the Win

Government’s message in a bottle found 56 years later

While beachcombing along the Padre Island National Seashore in Texas, Jim and Candy Duke discovered an old bottle with a message inside and were excited to get home to open it and find out what the message said. Little did they know at the time that the message in a bottle was from the U.S. government and a reward was being offered.

The words BREAK BOTTLE could clearly be seen on the outside of the faded orange paper inside, but the Corpus Christi couple didn’t want to break it.

So, while filming live on Facebook about three weeks ago, they proceeded to open the bottle with a wine bottle opener and extracted the note with an ice pick and tweezers.

“I keep thinking because it has a number on it maybe we’ve won some grand prize to some place, maybe a cruise, I don’t know,” Candy said in the video.

“We don’t want to break the bottle that’s why we’re trying so hard to get this cork out. We collect bottles from the beach and we have them going down Jim’s fence in the backyard…This is harder than I thought.”

The bottle was one of 7,863 bottles that were released in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico from February 1962 to December 1963 by scientists at the Galveston Laboratory of the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (now known as NOAA Fisheries).

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