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British Engineer and American IT Pro Connect via Message in a Bottle

Woohoo! Another friendship made possible thanks to a message in a bottle! It seems Asbury Park Press tracked down Stuart Brown of Yorkshire, UK, who sent a message in a bottle discovered in February 2017 on Long Beach Island. The finder was Vince Stango, who “runs a software and IT consulting firm” according to APP. The sender, Stuart Brown, is a retired engineer, of Yorkshire, UK. Stuart told the APP that he had “just returned home from a world tour aboard the Queen Elizabeth luxury ocean liner”. On that trip, he sent a few messages in bottles. But Vince is the only person to have found one so far. The men have exchanged text messages since the find.


Vince Stango with his dogs. They found Stuart’s message in a bottle. Photo Courtesy: Peter Ackerman / Asbury Park Press

Why Does Stuart Brown Send Messages in Bottles?

Asbury Park Press was able to make out the phone numbers on the message (apparently two were included) and Brown answered one of them. Asked why he sends messages in bottles (as he described sending several others on his journeys), he told APP: “I do it to get in touch with people.” He went on to say, “You might find somebody and make a friend. I like to think people find them. You never know what will happen.”

Stuart Brown's Message in a Bottle, found by Vince Stango.

Stuart Brown’s Message in a Bottle. Photo Courtesy: Asbury Park Press / Vince Stango

I must say, I really love Mr. Brown’s explanation here. He he hits on the key points that make messages in bottles so special. First, they allow you to “get in touch” with others. Case in point: two men from different countries and cultures are now connected by a powerful experience I doubt either will ever forget.

Second, “You might find somebody and make a friend.”

Absolutely! Yes, yes, yes. In a world that is “connected” by the internet, but in which we nevertheless find ourselves so often alone and isolated, what could be more powerful than making a new friend in this magical, mythical, totally organic way?

Finally, “You never know what might happen.” I couldn’t agree more. The open-ended, mysterious, adventurous nature of messages in bottles is the source of their charm and power to connect. You really never do know what might happen. Heck, a message in a bottle could lead you to Washington, DC, or Marseille, France, or New Hope, Pennsylvania, or Canterbury, England, or Dresden, Germany


Stuart’s Message in a Bottle, found by Vince Stango. Photo Courtesy: Peter Ackerman / Asbury Park Press

A New Friendship is Born

Will Vince Stango and Stuart Brown ever travel to meet each other? Who knows. Does it matter?

What matters is this: The path to a new friendship lies clear. The wall between these two strangers is now and forever removed. We should all be so lucky–to extend a hand in friendship to the wild blue yonder, and receive friendship in return.

It’s still a beautiful world, friends and neighbors, and it’s full of good people. Don’t let anyone tell you different!

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