Message in a bottle tossed overboard by Gold Coasters found by Mer Island family

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Amanda Robbemond, Gold Coast Bulletin

A SPUR of the moment decision to put a message in a bottle has resulted in new pen pals for a Gold Coast family.

More than six months ago Carrara resident Justin Pallett scrawled a short message on a piece of paper with his name and email address.

He placed the paper in a beer bottle and tossed it into the ocean from the cruise ship his family were on, just outside of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

After 6 months in the ocean and 1000km later, Justin Pallett’s message in a bottle has found him new friends with some Islanders after they found it washed ashore. Picture: Jerad Williams

The bottle washed up some 1000km away at Mer Island, where locals Aven and Melora Noah, with their four children Adi, Sim, Sukeh and Lillah found it — and promptly emailed Mr Pallett.

“(My family) were ecstatic,” Mr Pallett said.

“I rang my son in Perth and he couldn’t believe it. They’re such a nice family too, we get along like a house on fire. It’s been a really good experience.”

Mr Pallett said the Noah family sent him half a dozen photos of their find and said they now emailed each other every second day or so.

The family were also now local celebrities on the island and had their story placed in the local newspaper.

“It happened to be the best cruise we’ve had,” Mr Pallett said, adding it was the last trip his family took together before one of his sons joined the Navy as a bosun’s mate and moved to Western Australia.

Mr Pallett said his family were planning a trip around Christmas to meet the Noah family in person on Mer Island.