After dozens of people reported seeing mermaids in the waters around the Isle of Wight, the IW council are offering a reward to anyone who can prove their existence.
Spurred on by the promise of a free peak season return ferry crossing for 2, something out of the grasp of most Islanders, people are flocking to the beaches, Thermos flasks and Panasonic video cameras at the ready. One such hopeful is Nippy Attrill, a retired fisherman from Sandown who has 36 grandchildren over on the big island that he has never seen. He told us, "The wife and I was up on the downs at Whitecliff having a look off, when she shouts, 'what the devil's that down there?' I couldn't hardly believe my eyes - there was a creature lying there on a rock and when it heard us it looked up, startled like and then it slithered off into the water. I tell you, it was a mermaid! People say we're mad but I know what I saw and as long as my arsehole points downwards I shall keep telling 'em - it was a bloody mermaid."