Just weeks after a man found a decades-old message in a bottle along the Alaska coast, a Russian TV station says it has located the letter writer.
According to KTUU-TV and The Associated Press, Tyler Ivanoff of Shishmaref came across the bottle earlier this month while he was looking for firewood.
"I found a message in a bottle today," Ivanoff wrote in an Aug. 5 Facebook post, which included photos of the bottle and the enclosed letter. "Any friends that are Russian translators out there?"
Ivanoff got his wish as the post went viral. One commenter said the letter, written by a Russian Navy sailor on June 20, 1969, included wishes of "good health" and asked the recipient to reply to an address in Vladivostok – about 2,000 miles from Shishmaref, KTUU reported.
A state-owned Russian TV station, Russia-1, identified the writer as Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, who now lives an additional 6,000 miles away in Sevastopol. Botsanenko initially didn't believe the letter was his, but then recognized his signature, KTUU reported.
Botsanenko, who was 36 when he wrote the note, told the TV station that he had been on board a Russian ship called the Sulak at the time, KTUU reported.
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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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