Man Sends 5K Messages in Bottles —Gets 3K Replies

Answers can take up to 13 years, but come from everywhere
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2011 9:05 AM CDT
Man Sends 5K Messages in Bottles —Gets 3K Replies
Harold Hackett of Prince Edward Island has sent off 4,800 messages in bottles over the past 15 years -- and gotten back 3,100 replies from all over the world.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Sting should be so proud. Since 1996, Harold Hackett has tossed about 5,000 messages in bottles into the ocean from his home in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and has received more than 3,000 responses from all over the world, reports the BBC. Hackett throws his brightly colored notes, sealed in clear juice bottles, into the ocean only when the wind is right, blowing west or southwest. Even with the right winds, it can take a long time for the bottles to get found—as long as 13 years—but Hackett has gotten letters from Africa, Russia, South America, Iceland, the UK, and North America.

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"I just love doing it the old way," said Hackett, who doesn't include his phone number in his letters—if people could call him, they wouldn't write, and phone calls don't create a showcase. "I wouldn't have nothing," he said. Many of his pen-pals continue writing, and Hackett gets around 150 Christmas cards each year, as well as gifts and souvenirs. "I'm going to go as long as I can," he said. "I'll keep doing it." Click here to see the BBC's video tale. (Read more message stories.)

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