Uwe Paesler/dpa/AP
April 08, 2014 01:00 PM

Better late than never.

A 101-year-old message, sealed in a beer bottle, was recovered by fisherman Konrad Fischer in the Baltic Sea last month.

This week, the sender’s 62-year-old granddaughter got to see and hold her grandfather’s message for the first time.

“This is certainly the first time such an old message in a bottle was found, particularly with the bottle intact,” Holger von Neuhoff of the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg told the Australian Broadcasting Network. The museum eventually identified the sender’s granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, of Berlin, and tracked her down this week.

“It was almost unbelievable,” Erdmann told the German news agency DPA. “That was a pretty moving moment,” she said of the first time she was able to hold the bottle. “Tears rolled down my cheek.”

Researchers were able to determine that Richard Platz, Erdmann’s mother’s father, threw the bottle into the Baltic in 1913, when he was 20 years old. Though most of his message was illegible because of time and dampness, his postcard asked the finder to return it to his home address in Berlin.

Mission accomplished.

The previous Guinness World Record for a message in a bottle was one dated from 1914 that spent almost 98 years at sea.

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