Off-message in a bottle

A sailor got more than he bargained for after romantically casting a message in a bottle off the New York coast.

    Despite crossing the Atlantic the bottle received a sharp response.

    Captain Harvey Bennett of Long Island cast off five plastic
    bottles in August 2005, hoping that at least one of them would deliver its message to foreign climes.

    It seemed that his wish had come true five months later when he received a package that has been posted in Bournemouth on the south coast of England.

    But Mr Bennett's excitement was swiftly diluted by the reply that was enclosed with the bottle.

    "I recently found your bottle while taking a scenic walk on the beach by Poole Harbour," read the letter, which was signed by one Henry Bigglesworth.

    "While you may consider this some profound experiment on the path and speed of oceanic currents, I have another name for it: litter," the letter said.
    The irate Mr Bigglesworth then continued to expound on his views about the American people, many of which were described by the East Hampton Star newspaper as "less than flattering".

    "You Americans don't seem to be happy unless you are mucking about (interfering) somewhere," he said.
    Mr Bennett, 55, who confessed to having sent many messages-in-bottles, told the newspaper it was the first time he had ever received an angry response. 

    "I kind of felt like no good deed goes unpunished," he said.



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