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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Cruise firm offers prize for photo of Lake District monster Bownessie

Shocked tourists claim to have spotted a terrifying humpbacked beast in the waters of Lake Windermere.

Captured on camera by two pals out kayaking, ‘Bownessie’ is thought to be up to 50ft long. Tom Pickles and Sarah Harrington say it swept through the lake at 10 miles per hour, leaving a giant wake.

Theirs is the eighth reported sighting of the creature in the past five years, leading many to compare it to the fabled Loch Ness Monster.

However, Windermere Lake Cruises is far from convinced. The firm has put up a prize of a year’s free cruises for anyone who captures a photo of the beast from one of their boats.

Nigel Wilkinson, managing director, said: “We carry more than a million passengers on our boats each year and we’ve not witnessed a ‘Bownessie’ spotting as yet.”

Locals in the town of Bowness have reported sightings of the creature since the 1950s. Among them is university lecturer Stephen Burnip, who claims the latest picture is an uncanny match for what he saw.

Mr Wilkinson added: “We’re not yet convinced that ‘Bownessie’ exists but our passengers will certainly enjoy a great day out trying to find him!”

The Golden Ticket prize will be awarded for any passenger who captures a genuine image of ‘Bownessie’ while on a Windermere Lake Cruise in 2011. For more details go to www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk.

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