A rescue service has issued a warning after tens of thousands of people signed up to an event to “storm Loch Ness” in search of the “monster”.
More than 19,000 have said they are going – with an additional 39,000 people marking their “interest”, following the creation of the event on Facebook.
The mass search for Nessie was inspired by Storm Area 51 – another Facebook event which has jokingly called for people to raid the US Air Force base in Nevada to uncover the truth behind the infamous UFO conspiracy.
However, in the wake of the Scottish hunt – scheduled to take place on September 21, Loch Ness RNLI is warning of the dangers of the deep.
In a statement, they said: “With no US Army involved, Loch Ness looks a little less hazardous than storming Area 51, but here we have our own set of problems
“Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat has an impressive survivor carrying capacity, but even that will be stretched by the ‘attendees’ of this event.”
The spokesperson added that “jokes aside”, the Loch Ness waters were actually very dangerous with swimmers at risk of “cold water shock and hypothermia”.
They stated the loch was 230m deep – which is nearly two and a half times the height of Big Ben – and said conditions could deteriorate quickly with wave heights of 13ft recorded.
The rescue crew signed off their warning with “Nessie 1 – 0 Bandwagon”.