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Retired delivery driver Colin Veacock, 55, was visiting from Aintree and was parked in a layby north of Urquhart Castle, a favourite haunt of Nessie, on the famous loch

Fourth sighting of Nessie this year by hospital worker who spotted ‘black shapes’ moving across Loch Ness

The ninth sighting of the Loch Ness Monster this year has been recorded by a tourist from Liverpool.

Retired delivery driver Colin Veacock, 55, was visiting from Aintree and was parked in the last layby north of Urquhart Castle – a favourite haunt of Nessie – around 13 miles southwest of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

Scanning the water with his binoculars he noticed something two thirds across the loch.

“He originally thought it was a foot high and some five foot long, but later was able to compare it with the Jacobite Warrior tourist cruise boat as it passed by the area,” said Gary Campbell, keeper of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, which has accepted the glimpse as record.

“As such, he stated that what he observed was easily the length of the handrail at the rear of that boat which led him to re-asses what he saw as nearly two foot high and ten to twelve feet long. He said the same was witnessed by two other families in the layby.”

The sighting on July 30 comes just 11 days after the eighth glimpse of Nessie this year.

A man and his daughter from Chester reported seeing an unidentified movement in the loch on July 19.

They were hillwalking above Fort Augustus, a village at the south-west end of Loch Ness, and made the sighting at 3.20pm.

“They said a cruise boat had passed some 20 minutes earlier but that there was no boat activity at the time of the sighting,” said Mr Campbell.

A teenage visitor from Cambridge also saw an unidentified creature for two seconds in Urquhart Bay close to the loch’s iconic castle on June 2.

“He said a hump came up going against the waves, looking like a turtle’s back, black in colour with a green tinge to it. He reported that the weather was warm and sunny with excellent visibility,” said Mr Campbell.

“It’s great to welcome people back to Loch Ness and with Nessie there to greet them. All these sightings are credible.”

All the other six sightings this year have been by the loch’s webcam.

Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster last year reached 13.

In 2020 startling images of a large creature inhabiting the depths of Loch Ness were captured on sonar off Invermoriston by skipper Ronald Mackenzie aboard his Spirit of Loch Ness tourist boat.

They are said to be the “most compelling” evidence of the existence of a Loch Ness Monster.

Leading sonar expert Craig Wallace described the sonar images as “very curious large, clear and distinct contacts, all strangely near to the loch bed” and “100 percent genuine”.

Nessie expert Steve Feltham, who has been searching for Nessie for 30 years, says Mr MacKenzie’s sonar images are the “most compelling” evidence of the existence of the legendary creature.

Scientists had earlier claimed that they had solved the mystery and Nessie and she could possibly be a giant eel. It follows DNA analysis of living species in the freshwater loch.

Good news for Nessie believers and the Highland tourist industry is that the monster is said to be worth £41m to the region.

The official register has now logged 1139 sightings from records and other evidence stretching back through the centuries.