Ricciardo parents in discovery of historic message in a bottle

Thursday 8th March, 2018 - 8:59pm


Daniel Ricciardo’s parents have been involved in a historic find

The parents of Red Bull Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo have been involved in the discovery the world’s oldest message in a bottle in Australia.

Joe and Grace Ricciardo, along with friends Kym and Tonya Illman, found a bottle containing an 132-year-old message, while driving a 4×4 at Wedge Island, 180 kilometres north of Perth.

Grace and Tonya made the discovery with the latter keeping the bottle as decorative piece before unearthing a message written in German, dated 12 June 1886.

“My friend Grace Ricciardo and I were walking across the dunes when I saw something sticking out of the sand so I went to take a closer look,” said Tonya Illman.

“It just looked like a lovely old bottle so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase. My son’s girlfriend was the one who discovered the note when she went to tip the sand out.

“The note was damp, rolled tightly and wrapped with string. We took it home and dried it out, and when we opened it we saw it was a printed form, in German, with very faint German handwriting on it.”

The discovery has since been verified by historians who have traced the bottle and subsequent message to a German sailing ship ‘Paula’.

It is believed the bottle was dropped as part of an experiment by the German Naval Observatory to learn about sea currents and shipping routes.

The message, once translated, instructed the finder to record its location and return to the nearest German consulate.

“Extraordinary finds need extraordinary evidence to support them, so we contacted colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany for help to find more information,” said Dr Ross Anderson, Assistant Curator Maritime Archaeology at the WA Museum.

“Incredibly, an archival search in Germany found Paula’s original Meteorological Journal and there was an entry for 12 June 1886 made by the captain, recording a drift bottle having been thrown overboard.

“The date and the coordinates correspond exactly with those on the bottle message.” comment policy

Comments require approval before being published. reserves the right to deny any post that is abusive or offtopic.

Users are encouraged to flag/report comments which should be removed.

Some comments may require approval before being published which can take up to 48 hours.

For support, please contact [email protected] has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

Read the promise

Subscribe to our daily newsletter, the best way to get your news first, fast, and free!