Widower criticised after releasing 2000 bottles into rivers

A Scottish expat's attempt to find love by releasing thousands of bottles across the country containing romantic messages has gone wrong.

The River Cree. Picture: Wikimedia commons

Craig Sullivan, 49, originally from central Scotland but now living in London, took around 2,000 bottles to rivers and beaches across the country.

Mr Sullivan, who is widowed, was eventually reported to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) after a backlash against his plan, which was inspired by the song “Message in a Bottle” by The Police.

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The consultant put his plan into action after the death of his wife Julia from breast cancer early last year.

But he reckoned without his romantic intentions falling foul of environmental regulations after he was reported for littering in the River Cree in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Sullivan resolved to find love in an unusual way, and wrote on his blog ‘Optimize or Die’ that “Using any of the normal channels for this sort of thing (dating sites, friends, matchmaking services) seemed clichéd or less elegant, less noble in intentions than my own mind.”

Mr Sullivan went around the country in a campervan, but his stop at Newton Stewart on the banks of the Cree resulted in an outcry from local residents.

A Sepa spokesman told the BBC: “Our officers are comfortable that there is no environmental risk to the River Cree as a result of the bottles being released... almost all of the bottles were contained and removed from the river fairly quickly by locals.”

Mr Sullivan said that he will think of a better way to find love, and wrote on Twitter that he hadn’t released any bottles since the backlash.