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Girl's message in bottle preserved for posterity

| Saturday, July 13, 2013, 7:45 p.m.
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Mimi Fery (right) attends a plaque dedication ceremony for her deceased daughter Sidonie on Saturday, July 13, 2013 in Patchogue, New York. Patchogue parks workers found Sidonie's message in a bottle that had washed up with Hurricane Sandy debris.

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — A seaside Long Island village on Saturday honored the memory of a girl whose message in a bottle was found after Superstorm Sandy, discovered by cleanup workers a dozen years after she tossed it into the ocean.

A plaque was placed on a rock near the bridge at Patchogue Long Island Beach Club, where the bottle was discovered in December. It reads: “Be excellent to yourself dude,” the same message inside the bottle. The note, a line from the movie “Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure,” was written by Sidonie Fery and tossed into the ocean inside a ginger ale bottle. She died in 2010 at 18 in a fall from a cliff in Switzerland.

The bottle traveled a mile or two westward from where it was likely deposited to the location where parks workers found it. It was intermingled with broken docks, boating gear and a spectrum of sea trash.

But because the note included the girl's New York City phone number, what otherwise would have been a worthless piece of trash became a priceless memento. Workers in Patchogue, about 60 miles east of Manhattan, called the number and returned the bottle to her mother, Mimi Fery.

Fery said she sobbed when she heard workers had found the bottle and was grateful to them.

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