A 13-year-old message in a bottle that washed up on Spike Island in Co. Cork has been traced to a young American soldier, currently serving in Afghanistan.

Over a decade ago Zachery Tebo, who hails from Shutesbury, Massachusetts, penned a message to a potential pen pal.

"Dear whoever catches this bottle,” it read. “Write me a letter and tell me about you. My address is ...

“P.S I am eight years old.”

“P.P.S. Throw back this letter back into the sea so others can write to me also.

“Thank you."

Local historian John Flynn and his colleague stumbled across the bottle on July 15 while working on the island, the Cork Independent reports.

Flynn then posted about his find on a Facebook page ‘Cobh Town History and More’.

In less than an hour Flynn was contacted through his Facebook page by an American woman, Maeve McCarthy, who said she knew the boy who had written the letter.

McCarthy posted: “OMG, Zack Tebo is my son's best friend, and like a 5th son to me, I cannot believe this. He is Private 1st class Zack Tebo, US Army deployed in Afghanistan. Wait till we tell him this. So cool...”

As a result Flynn was able to get in touch with Tebo to let him know his message had been discovered over a decade later.

The soldier wrote: "I can't believe you found my message in a bottle from 13-years ago! I wrote that letter and gave it to a family friend who threw it in the ocean from Cork 13-years ago.

"Thank you so much for contacting me John Flynn, I hope to visit you all some day!"

Flynn has invited the U.S. soldier to come to Cobh to see where his letter was found.