A message in a bottle launched out into the sea 50 years ago by a Cold War sailor has finally been found – and now seen around the world.

Tyler Ivanoff, from Alaska, was looking for firewood when he found the unusual discovery.

The green bottle had been bumped around during its time ocean-bound, but it was still intact.

It smelled of old alcohol when he opened it, and managed to prize the letter out.

‘When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out,’ he said.

‘My kids were pretty excited. They thought it was a treasure map from a pirate ship.’

Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969.

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According to the Nome Nugget, it read: ‘Sincere greetings! From the Russian Far East Fleet mother ship VRXF Sulak. I greet you who finds the bottle and request that you respond to the address Vladivostok -43 BRXF Sulak to the whole crew.

‘We wish you good health and long years of life and happy sailing. 20 June 1969.’

After Mr Ivanoff discovered the bottle in Shishmaref, about 600 miles northwest of Anchorage, reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.

He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.

‘There – exactly!’ he exclaimed.

The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said.

He shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.

Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese alcohol bottles.