Skip to main content

Message in a bottle draws rebuke

FEB. 8 — A British man who recently discovered a note in a plastic bottle that floated more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic had some stern words for the American who launched it.

In a return letter, a man calling himself Henry Biggelsworth, of Bournemouth, England, accused the man who sent the bottle, Coast Guard Captain Harvey Bennett, of littering, the London Telegraph newspaper reported. “I recently found your bottle while taking a scenic walk on a beach by PooleHarbour,” Biggelsworth said in the letter. “While you may consider this some profound experiment on the path and speed of ocean currents, I have another name for it — litter.

“You Americans don’t seem to be happy unless you are mucking up somewhere,” Biggelsworth added.

Bennett put the bottle, which contained a piece of paper with his name and address on it, into the ocean last August near his home on New York’s Long Island, the report says. When Bennett found his note returned to him in the mail he was excited — until he read Biggelsworth’s letter.

“My first thought was that the guy needed to get a life,” Bennett, who is 55, says in the report. “I couldn’t believe it.”

“I threw that bottle in the ocean for one thing — for fun,” Bennett continues in the report. “I always thought the British had a wonderful sense of humor, but I guess somebody forgot to tell that to Biggelsworth.”

— Jason Fell