A postcard sent from South America has been delivered to its intended recipient 30 years after being posted.
Neil Crocker sent the card from Chile in 1991 when he was serving with the Royal Navy, returning from the Falkland Islands on board HMS Cumberland.
The card finally dropped on to the doormat at the home of his father-in-law in Radipole in Weymouth, Dorset, earlier this week.
Mr Crocker said he was “shocked” to see it after three decades.
The ship had been returning from a three-month tour of the Falkland Islands and stopped for five days in Valparaiso on the Chilean coast.
Mr Crocker said he “vaguely” remembered writing and sending the card, in which he commented that the “weather and beaches are lovely”.
“I sent a number of postcards home and didn’t really give it a second thought,” he added.
He said his 89-year-old father-in-law was “slightly confused” to receive the card in the post.
The card bears the postmark “London 1991”, showing it did make it to the UK at the time.
“For 30 years its been in a sorting office somewhere and eventually it’s made its way to its destination – so it’s quite a remarkable story really,” Mr Crocker said.
The card also has stamps totalling 22p on it and three pin holes, which Mr Crocker speculated could have meant it had been pinned to a notice board somewhere.
“We’ll probably never know where it’s been – it’s a mystery,” he said.
Royal Mail said it was “difficult to speculate” on what may have happened to the card.
“It is likely that it was put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than being lost or stuck somewhere in the network.
“Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its processing machines daily,” it added.