• Ponte Vedra High School students translate message in bottle from German school

    By: Deanna Bettineschi , Action News Jax


    Ponte Vedra High School media specialist David Richards was walking near the Jacksonville Beach/Ponte Vedra Beach line with his father when they found a bottle in the sand.

    “We were looking at it and we're like, 'Whoa.' We saw the cork was still in and the barnacles and we saw the message and said, 'This is really rad,'” Richards said.

    The message was written in German, so he brought it to the school's German Club so they could help him translate it.

    “It took kind of long because we had to look through to try to read it,” student Sydney Vitti said.

    “We were able to make out the name of the kindergarten,” student Jennifer Balestra said.

    “It comes from a kindergarten school in Germany, small town Altenkirchen,” Richards said.

    German Club sponsor Christina Waugh speaks fluent German and was able to help the students read the message.

    “They had read a book about a message in a bottle so they all decided to do it,” Waugh said.

    Waugh was able to make contact with the school's leaders in Germany.

    “She couldn’t believe someone had found the bottle three and a half years later and it didn’t break in the ocean,” Waugh said.

    Shortly after the phone call, the school in Germany sent them pictures and a letter.

    “We’re still all so surprised that our bottle was found so far away,” Waugh said.

    The students said it’s an experience they’ll always remember.

    The students want to keep in contact with the school so they're sending a care package and writing letters to the students there. 

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