By Stetson Miller

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A message in a bottle that was dropped into the waters off the coast of Ocean City three years ago was recently found by a couple in Ireland.

The boy who sent it, Sasha Yonyak, then 11, got the idea to write the message after he originally found the bottle with a note and two dollars from two women. It encouraged him to pass it on.

So Yonyak wrote a new message with his neighbor, Wayne Smith, and also put two dollars in the bottle.

“We just wrote our own letter,” said Sasha. “And then when we went to our next fishing trip, I took the bottle with me and then I threw the bottle in, one mile offshore.”

In the letter, he said he loved boogie boarding, biking, fish and crabs, and he asked for a call back if anyone found ever it.

Earlier this month, it was found by a couple walking on a beach in Donegal, Ireland, over 3,000 miles away from where it was sent.

“We were really surprised what happened,” said Vlad Yonyak, Sasha’s dad.

The couple, Rita Simmonds and Ciaran Marron, got in touch with Yonyak by reaching out to a local newspaper in Ocean City, since he mentioned that is where he lived in the letter.

The newspaper then helped the couple get connected through Facebook. They had a video call with Sasha and Vlad.

“We spoke with them about the history of the bottle,” said Vlad. “We had a conversation about our families.”

Yonyak’s neighbor, Smith, never found out where the bottle ended up. He died last year.

But Sasha’s dad says its journey is symbolic of the size of their friendship.

“That bottle made it such a long way, all the way to Ireland,” said Vlad. “[It] kind of reflects the big friendship Mr. Wayne and Sasha had.”

Sasha and Vlad are planning to eventually visit the couple in Ireland.

Stetson Miller