A council bin that was thrown off a pier on the south coast of England has arrived back on shore after six months – on a German island 450 miles away.
Worthing Borough Council thought their bin was lost to the waves forever after vandals threw it off the end of the town's seaside pier.
But rather than sinking to the seafloor and lying in a watery grave forever, the black litter bin made its way across the English Channel and the North Sea.
Its lengthy journey came to an end on the shores of Borkum, a small island in north-west Germany, where it was discovered by Frerk Richter.
He noticed that the bin still displayed the Worthing council crest and got in contact with the West Sussex-based council to share the news of the waste receptacle's epic voyage.
Andrew Mugan, a project officer in the waste and recycling team who received Richter's email, said: "It's certainly one of the most unusual emails we've received.
"I'm astounded that the bin ended up on the shores of Borkum in Germany.
"At least from an environmental point of view, the bin is no longer in the sea.”
Richter said the bin will not be making a return trip and has instead taken up permanent residency on the island after being transformed into a plant holder in his garden.
He said: "I cleaned the bin with a pressure washer and it now looks great.
"I then put it in our garden, put a plant in it and my daughter finished it off by adding a birdhouse to the top.”
Borkum island, a popular tourist destination, measures just 11.87 square miles. It is the largest of the seven East Frisian Islands in the North Sea.
Adur and Worthing councils emphasised that "while there is a happy ending to this story, throwing items in the sea is a serious issue".