Canadian teen ‘famous’ for 12-year-old message in bottle found on Maine island

Taryn McKee holds a photo of herself from when she was 3 years old on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. A message her mother wrote for her that was tossed in the Atlantic when the family was on vacation 12 years ago recently was found on an island in Maine.
David Johnson | Welland Tribune
Taryn McKee holds a photo of herself from when she was 3 years old on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. A message her mother wrote for her that was tossed in the Atlantic when the family was on vacation 12 years ago recently was found on an island in Maine.
Posted July 04, 2012, at 7:29 p.m.
This message in a bottle was discovered during recent island cleanup on Tibbett Island off the Washington County community of South Addison. The message was written in 2000.
Courtesy of Downeast Coastal Conservancy
This message in a bottle was discovered during recent island cleanup on Tibbett Island off the Washington County community of South Addison. The message was written in 2000.

WELLAND, Ontario — It’s been a crazy couple of days for Welland teen Taryn McKee, who finds herself the center of media attention from across Canada, the U.S. and even the U.K. for the story of her message in a bottle being found 12 years after it was launched into the Atlantic Ocean in New Brunswick.

This story is everywhere,” said Taryn’s mom, Cheryl.

When Taryn was three, her mother wrote notes for her, and her two-year-old brother Jacob, and placed them into plastic bottles that were then tossed in the ocean at Letete, N.B., on the last day of a family vacation. The notes, while written by Cheryl, were based on what the two children told their mother about the trip in July 2000.

Taryn’s bottle and its message were found last week by Becky Lee, membership coordinator for Downeast Coastal Conservancy, on Tibbett Island in Maine. Lee posted the message on social media sites and the story was picked up by the Bangor Daily News. That story spread quickly.

A friend of Cheryl’s in Ottawa saw it and contacted the family to ask if the message was from Taryn. It was.

Once that information was out, the family started hearing from newspapers and TV stations. The Bangor paper called, as did Ontario newspapers and TV. The U.K.-based Daily Mail showed interest in the story, as did a newspaper in New Brunswick, both contacting The Tribune about it.

“There’s all these news links,” Cheryl said of the story’s online presence, adding it has been on ABC and FOX networks. “It’s a little overwhelming.”

Taryn, 15, is still surprised by all the attention and interest in the story and had a chance to speak with Lee.

“It was interesting to talk to the person who found the note,” she said from her home Wednesday.

While the story has drawn a lot of media attention, Taryn’s friends are joking around with her about it.

“They’re saying I’m famous.”

For more from The Tribune, see http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2012/07/04/theyre-saying-im-famous.

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