Texas couple finds 57-year-old message in bottle on beach

A Texas couple walking along the beach found a message in a bottle dropped into the Gulf of Mexico 57 years ago by a Galveston laboratory, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Candy and Jim Duke found the bottle along the Padre Island National seashore near Corpus Christi, KXAS reported. While instructions said to break the glass, the couple removed the message without shattering the bottle.

"My husband and I go out there almost every Saturday morning. We get there before sunrise to take photos, and then drive down the beach to search for treasure," Candy Duke told the Chronicle. "That's where we found the bottle, at around marker 22."

The bottle was part of a 1962 "drift study" by the Galveston Laboratory of the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, now known as the National Marine Fisheries Service, the newspaper reported. Research was being conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration andthe bottle was one of several thousand released, KXAS reported. It was part of study of water currents and the movement of shrimp to determine the rate and flow of surface waters in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, the Chronicle reported.

"The study was done in the early days of shrimp management. It looked at where adult shrimp live, offshore, versus where juvenile shrimp live, inshore. The idea was, if you look at surface currents, you could connect the two," NOAA acting lab director Matthew Johnson told the newspaper.

The Dukes posted a video on Facebook that showed them removing the message.

According to the Chronicle, the message read, in part: "These releases are part of a study to determine the role that water currents play in the movement of young shrimp from offshore spawning grounds to inshore nursery grounds. The person finding this bottle should complete the enclosed postcard and mail it at the first opportunity. A 50-cent reward will be sent for each completed return."

"I told them not to send us the 50 cents," Candy Duke told the Chronicle. "I want to make a shadow box with the bottle and photo to hang in our house."

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