A man who threw a message in a bottle into the English Channel as a boy 34 years ago has finally met the French woman who found it.
Businessman Adrian Lomas, 43, met up with Emmanuelle Demeautis, while riding the Tour de France course for charity.
Mr Lomas, of Chester, threw his bottle into the sea aged nine and it was found by Ms Demeautis, who was also nine.
The pair became penpals but had never managed to meet up. “It was a really emotional meeting,” he said.
“Emmanuelle left home at 7am and made the two-hour trip to meet me for the first time on the Causeway of the Mont Saint-Michel – 34 years after we first started writing to each other,” said Mr Lomas.
“We both know each other so well, both have families and are interested in similar things. Her father was a champion cyclist and her cousin is working with a cycling team.”
Mr Lomas threw the bottle overboard on the way back from a trip to the Channel Islands, not expecting to hear anything more.
It had the message: “My name is Adrian Lomas – I’m aged nine and live in England, if you find this letter please write to me.”
But Ms Demeautis, who illustrates books with her husband, found it while she was walking her dog on Cherbourg beach.
“We wrote for many years and, at one stage, we planned to meet in Tahiti when I was travelling and she was working as a nurse but, for one reason or another, it didn’t happen,” said Mr Lomas.
“I can’t believe that after throwing the bottle off the ferry on the way back from my holiday when I was nine, that Emmanuelle found it on the beach when she was walking her dog. It’s just amazing.”
The pair plan to meet again with their respective families at the end of the tour.