An international hunt has begun to find the author of a message in a bottle that travelled thousands of miles to arrive at Falmouth's shores 21 years later.

Crispin Benton, from Penryn, couldn't believe his eyes when he spied the bottle on the tide line at Castle Beach last week.

Picking it up, he found a letter inside and with great excitement began to open the bottle to read it.

The Cornwall Council worker told the Packet: "I'd finished work for the day and it was a nice afternoon, so I took off down to Castle Beach for a walk.

"It was hide tide, so it was likely it had freshly washed in. I picked it up, then I thought 'Oh my goodness, there's a message in there' and got a bit excited."

Also on the beach was a student photographer, who was able to take a photo of Crispin with the bottle and together they read the letter.

"There was a letter from a girl in Canada. It's in beautiful condition – the bottle was corked. I had to really push the corker through to get it out," added Crispin.

The letter contained a message from a girl called Anna, who wrote that she was six years old at the time of writing, in 2001, meaning she would now be aged 26 or 27.

It states that she was in the Bahamas at the time, and that it was 9.24pm on June 21, 2001.

The letter written in 2001 by Anna, aged six from Canada, while in the Bahamas

The letter written in 2001 by Anna, aged six from Canada, while in the Bahamas

The letter, written in a clear child's handwriting, contains a simple message from Anna, suggesting she was ahead of her time: "Please don't pollute. Thank you."

It goes on to ask anyone who finds the message to her write to her, and she gives the address of 994 Bergar, Laval, Quebec, H7L 5A1.

However, Crispin said that after researching the address he believes it has since been turned into an industrial estate.

He is now hoping that through the power of the Packet's international website and Facebook audience that it might be possible to track down Anna, so that he can tell her the bottle has been found all these years later.

"It's just one of those things you don't think will ever happen, to find a message in a bottle. It's a once in a lifetime experience, and to think someone wrote that 20-odd years ago. What's she doing now?"


However, in a still further twist of fate, in his excitement at the discovery Crispin did not initially notice that there was a second note in the bottle. He made the discovery on the train home to Penryn, and thought he would wait until home to read it.

He was therefore devastated to realise that somewhere between the station and his house he had misplaced the second note, and so has no idea what it says.

Crispin hopes that if he is able to make contact with Anna she may remember who wrote the second message. Alternatively, he has appealed for anyone who found a piece of paper with an unusual message on it to get in contact.

Anyone who found the note, or who knows who Anna may be – or if Anna reads this herself – can contact the Packet via to make contact with Crispin.