An American captain who sent a message in a bottle into the Atlantic got more than he bargained for when a reply from a Briton branded him a litterbug.
Capt Harvey Bennett, of Napeague in Long Island's Hamptons resort, received a parcel and a "ticking off" from Henry Biggelsworth in Bournemouth, Dorset.
Mr Biggelsworth found his bottle on a beach by Poole Harbour, six months after the captain cast it into the sea.
He wrote: "You Americans don't seem to be happy unless you are mucking about."
The bottle was one of five Capt Bennett threw into the ocean in August.
The 55 -year-old, who owns a tackle shop, said he was "somewhat taken aback" by the rebuke.
"I kind of felt like no good deed goes unpunished," he told his local newspaper.
Ironically, it appears the captain's own ancestors embarked for the US in 1644 from Weymouth in Dorset.
He added: "It's a cosmic, planet-alignment thing."
Mr Biggelsworth's stern letter began: "Dear 'Captain' Bennett, I recently found your bottle while taking a scenic walk on the beach by Poole Harbour.
"While you may consider this some profound experiment on the path and speed of oceanic currents, I have another name for it, litter."