American message in bottle found in France

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- A message in a bottle sent from a pair of then-Loyola University Maryland students in 2014 was found this weekend on the shores of France.

"(My friend Bridget and I) sent it, and I could have sworn I thought it would wind up maybe a mile down the beach and someone would end up throwing it out," Tommy Zanowic, Loyola Class of 2015, said Thursday. "Improbable, unbelievable. I just didn't think anything like that would or could ever happen. That was about the last thing that I thought would happen when I woke up (Wednesday)."

Zanowic and Bridget Braaten wrote, "Write to us about your good fortunes!!!" on a piece of paper, including Zanowic's mail stop number at Loyola.

"Picking up the wood, I found the bottle, a nice bottle you can see right here, the bottle with the letter, we kept looking back for wood, and coming back home we did not know it was coming from the US, we thought it was a treasure map or coming from England," French artist David Folley said Thursday through an interpreter. "I could not believe it, finding the bottle, there was no way I could think it was coming from the US. It is incredible. What a story!"

Folley reached out to Loyola University Maryland via Facebook to try to find the sender.

"We thought, 'If we put this on Facebook, we're going to solve the mystery,' and, sure enough, we did," Loyola University Maryland spokesperson Nick Alexopulos said. "Every step of the way, as the layers of the onion began to peel off, we just kept telling ourselves, 'Is this real? Really?' Not only really cool and really improbable, but actually true."

Zanowic said he nearly forgot about sending the message until this week. He and Folley have since connected personally through Facebook and hope to one day visit the other in their respective countries.

"It would be so nice to meet them and exchange and maybe why not bringing back the bottle to Baltimore directly. It would make us really happy," Folley said.

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