Family finds baby scan in a bottle and fears the worst but it’s good news

A family who feared a tragedy after finding a baby scan in a message-in-a-bottle has discovered that it was thrown in the sea to celebrate a pregnancy.

Ashley Challinor, 32, was with six-year-old daughter Ava when they spotted a glass bottle in the sand on Fistral Beach, in Newquay, Cornwall.

There was a baby scan inside and they feared it had been thrown away in memory of a miscarriage or stillborn.

But now the owners of the scan have come forward and said the message-in-a-bottle was to announce a baby-to-be.

Rhiana Hockley and Fletcher Gallagher, from nearby Plymouth, say they threw it in February to announce a girl due in June.

Rhiana, 26, said: ‘We threw it into the sea in February at Fistral Beach, it’s somewhere we drop off bottles every year.

‘We’ve done it since we were 16, this one was to announce we were having a baby.’

When Ashley spotted the bottle, she looked at the scan, which had the hospital name on it.

She shared a photo of the scan online and asked who it belonged to, saying she would throw it back in the sea if no one came forward.

Mum-to-be Rhiana says she hopes to meet Ashley and throw it back in the sea together.

She said: ‘We’re hoping to get down and meet her so we can throw it back in together when all this is over.

‘It’s nice for them to know it’s not bad news.

‘This will be our first child and everything is going well, she’s due next month. We don’t have a name yet, that’s still in the thought process.’

Ashley, a hotel manager from Newquay, said: ‘It was quite a surprise, you usually hear of this sort of thing happening in movies.

‘We were wandering around looking for treasure and Ava saw it first.’

The seawater had ruined the note inside so Ashley had no idea who the scan belonged to.

The only clue was the name of the hospital at the bottom of the printout – Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth.

Ashley added: ‘I knew what it was instantly. My first thought was that it was something quite sad, maybe that’s why it was thrown into the sea.

‘I tried to see if I could find a name but that bit of the scan had been damaged by seawater.’

To gather clues, Ashley took a photo of the message in a bottle and shared it online.

But despite the posts being shared widely, no one had come forward with any useful information, until now.

Ashley added: ‘Ava has been thrilled by the whole thing, she thought it was amazing.

‘She didn’t really understand about the picture, she’s only six and I didn’t want to go into too much detail.’

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