Speed Reads

Somebody call Sting

Fisherman receives reply to his message in a bottle — 41 years later

Back in 1973, Scottish fisherman John Souter was sailing with his father and brother-in-law when he decided to tear out a page from a fishing almanac and inscribe it with his name, address, and the date. He put it in old Hay's lemonade bottle and tossed it into the North Sea. Then he forgot all about it.

Forty-one years later, a German tourist vacationing in New York picked up the bottle, which washed ashore on Jones Beach — roughly 3,300 miles from where it was set adrift. Michael Scholz took the bottle home with him to Germany before mailing it 960 miles back to Souter in Scotland.

Scholz says Souter and his wife wrote him a Christmas card to thank him for the surprise. "It's amazing to think how far [the bottle] traveled," Souter said.