Message at sea washes up after 18 years

00:57, Jun 07 2012
Melanie Torkington
RETURN TO SENDER: Melanie Torkington and her daughter Bethany Hudson pictured 18 years after the message was thrown into the sea.

A message sent to sea by a child 18 years ago has finally been found.

Melanie Torkington put a hand-written message in a plastic egg-shaped Kinder Surprise container as an 11-year-old and launched it at Matheson Bay in Leigh.

In the meantime the Leigh resident travelled New Zealand, lived in the Coromandel, then went to Western Australia, Thailand, England, France and Australia's east coast before returning home about a decade ago.

She expected her message to end up somewhere exotic too.

But the egg had a surprise of its own.

Last week the 29-year-old got a call from a Hamilton visitor to Whangateau Harbour who had found it near the Leigh wharf, just a few kilometres from where it was launched. The finder, also called Melanie, contacted Torkington through one of the phone numbers she'd left on her message that were still in family use.


"So I'd been around the world and back again but my message hadn't gone anywhere,'' Torkington said.

Her message was surprisingly intact after all that time at sea and asked the finder to tell her what it's like now.

"I guess that's the mind of an 11-year-old trying to see into the future,'' she said.

The message said: "I'm Melanie Torkington. I live in New Zealand near Auckland. I am 11 years old and it is 1993 and I'm just trying out this message. If you find this please ring me.

- Rodney Times