Diver hits loch bottom as he sets himself monster task

London: A charity fundraiser was yesterday preparing to plunge nearly 10 metres beneath the waters of Loch Ness, entrusting his life to a 60-year-old diving suit and 70-year-old maps.

Lloyd Scott, last seen plodding the streets in a similar antique diving suit for the London Marathon, plans to walk a marathon course on the bed of Loch Ness.

While another 1200 runners finished the more conventional Loch Ness marathon in hours on Sunday, Mr Scott, 41, a former firefighter, will spend most of the next two weeks completing the lake-bed challenge.

He will go down for about an hour at a time, taking rests in a boat.

It is the first time such a stunt has been attempted and Mr Scott has spent the past five weeks training for it. The father of three, who suffered from leukaemia as a child, is raising funds and awareness of the charity, Children with Leukaemia.

Although he is used to the 86-kilogram suit, Mr Scott had never dived until this year.

"It is probably the worst stretch of water in the UK to do it in, because the sides of the ledge I'll be on are very steep and the water black," he said.

"I've also got to move against the pressure and resistance of the water."

Don McGregor, from the Underwater Centre, which has trained Mr Scott, said: "We're using the original 1930s hydrographic maps, but we don't know how the surface will have changed. He might have to step over fallen trees or walk around rocks."

An eight-strong team in two boats will feed Mr Scott air through a 150-metre tube and follow his progress using satellite navigation equipment.

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