Hurricane Dorian was still working its way past the Carolinas when reports surfaced of odd things washing up on beaches, including bricks of cocaine in Florida.
But the strangest debris may have been found in Georgia, where a woman reported finding a bottle of human ashes, with a very strange note tucked inside:
“Please don’t open me, my ashes are on a journey,” the note read. “I started at Cumberland Island, so if you see me ashore, please snap a picture, email it & throw me back so I can travel some more.”
The note was signed: Nancy Gantt Swanson.
Sadie Nazworth, who posted the find Wednesday on Facebook, told The Charlotte Observer she and six friends came across the bottle while checking out how Hurricane Dorian had affected the tides in the Cumberland Harbour area near St. Mary’s.
The bottle was lodged in marsh debris at Point Peter Creek, off Georgia’s Cumberland Sound, she said.
“My friend Chelsea (Alyssa) fished it out of water with a tree limb, while another friend made sure she didn’t fall in,” Nazworth told the Observer. “We read it ... and thought it was such an awesome and beautiful idea! We were very excited and surprised.”
After reading the note, it became clear Swanson’s remains were heading in the wrong direction, up the St. Mary’s River rather than out to sea.
The group fulfilled Swanson’s final request, snapping a photo of the bottle and emailing it to an address listed inside, she said. They then tossed it back into the water, only to see it again tangled in debris, this time in a spot they could not reach.
“One of my friends is going out with their boat to make sure she’s making her way to the next destination,” Nazworth said.
Reaction to the bottle and note has been largely one of surprise at such an unusual final request, which some labeled “cool,” while at least one person pointed out Swanson is now to be considered ocean pollution.
“That is pretty cool but I pray a fish, shark, or whale doesn’t digest it,” Faythe Hall posted on Facebook.
“May she travel the world,” said Tammy Lee Crews.