London, July 25 : A British woman and her American pen pal celebrated the 40th anniversary of their friendship on Thursday by meeting on the beach where the former found her friend's message in a wine bottle four decades ago.
Both Rosalind Hearse and her American friend Sandra Morris were eight years old at that time.
Sandra, now Mrs. Morris-Czapla, threw the bottle overboard in the Atlantic Ocean whilst on a boat on holiday with her family back in July 1968.
The bottle contained a postcard on which she had written "whoever finds this bottle write to me at..."
Rosalind, now Mrs. Causey, found the bottle while she was walking with her father on Morfa beach, near Margam, South Wales, three months after it was thrown.
She opened the wine bottle to read the note, and her reply marked the start of their friendship. The two of them have been in touch ever since.
"I took the cork from the wine bottle and replied to Sandra's little note. I used to love seeing the postman bring me a letter with a US Air Mail stamp, although in these modern times we have now moved on from sea-mail to e-mail," the Telegraph quoted Causey, now an IT consultant living in Haverhill, Suffolk, as saying.
"Our friendship grew through our letters as we shared amazingly parallel lives. We each have two children, a boy and girl, and our eldest were born just 10 days apart," she added.
The pen pals met face-to-face for the first time in 1976 when Causey flew to America with her husband Mark, a chartered surveyor.
Morris-Czapla, who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Doug, a golf club manager, said: "It was lovely to visit the spot and it was a great way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a very unusual friendship."
She added: "You often hear stories of messages in a bottle floating thousands of miles but how often do you hear of people actually meeting up and making a connection as a result?"