A BOAT skipper has captured an incredible sonar image which he claims shows a 25ft-long Nessie lurking deep beneath the waves.
Mike Bell captured the remarkable image while he was taking a group of tourists for a trip on Loch Ness on June 27.
The sonar picture shows the bottom of the loch, a fish – and a long, thin object about 115ft (35m) below the surface.
When the 24-year-old circled and took readings at the same spot the object had disappeared, tending to rule out a log or other inanimate object.
Mike, from nearby Drumnadrochit, had just finished explaining the story of Loch Ness and the castle on the water when a tourist spotted the anomaly on his sonar.
The image shows a the sonar device with 101 metres at the top left hand corner indicating the total distance to the bottom at that point.
On the right hand side the device is going down in increments of 20 metres and on it about 15 metres there is a big blip which suggest a big fish.
However, at 35 metres there is a long zig-zag line suggesting a very large object, which Mike believes could be the Loch Ness Monster.
This is the eight official sighting of the Loch Ness Monster this year recorded on the official Loch Ness Monster sighting page.
Speaking today, he said: “I would like to think this is our creature, Nessie. It’s my first year being the skipper in the boat in five months and I’ve never seen it or had something that big on the sonar
“My dad is the more experienced skipper who has been doing this for a few years and has said he’s never seen it that big before on the sonar. It’s my first sighting of Nessie and I think my dad is a wee bit jealous as he has never seen it.
“The standard size on the sonar is usually a sharp prick suggesting a small fish. The large line about 35 metres in the water was about 10-25 feet.
“An object of that size I would think is way too big for the normal species in the loch. It must have been about five or six minutes we spent trying to pick up this creature again.”
Last night, the RNLI issued a safety warning after a mass search for the Loch Ness Monster on September 21 went viral on Facebook.
On the site 18,000 people said they are going to a Storm Loch Ness event with 38,000 “interested”
The RNLI said the water is very deep and has an average temperature of 6C but is prone to deteriorating conditions with wave heights of 4m being recorded.
It was reported last month that a couple caught Nessie while holidaying in the highlands.
Gloria and Ian Davison saw a dark creature with a head and neck as they drove alongside Loch Ness.
The stunned couple stopped their car by Urquhart Bay and watched the creature for a minute before it disappeared.
Nessie was reported to have been seen 15 times in 2018.
Research carried out last year revealed that the mythical creature is worth £41m a year to the Scottish economy.
The first encounter of the beast is said to have been encountered by Irish Missionary St Columba in the River Ness in 565AD.