Donald Campbell: 50th anniversary of Bluebird crash marked

Former British land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell. Picture: PA/PA Wire
Former British land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell. Picture: PA/PA Wire
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The 50th anniversary of the death of former British land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell will be marked at the site of his fatal crash.

As the ceremony takes place, an RAF fast jet will make a low level flypast across the site in north-west England.

Gina Campbell, the daughter of world land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell, visits a memorial at Lake Coniston Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Gina Campbell, the daughter of world land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell, visits a memorial at Lake Coniston Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The flower-laying will be followed by a brief service of remembrance at the Campbell Memorial and at Coniston Cemetery, where Mr Campbell was buried.

Mr Campbell was holder of eight world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s in the Bluebird cars and boats.

On January 4 1967 he attempted a water speed record in the Bluebird K7 at Coniston Water with the target of 300mph (480km/h).

After numerous attempts the Bluebird boat reached a speed of 328mph (528km/h) but shortly after, it somersaulted, breaking in two and plunging into the water.

Bluebird boat on Coniston Water, the right side lifting out of the water, a moment later the boat somersaulted into the air before disappearing and sinking. Picture: PA/PA Wire

Bluebird boat on Coniston Water, the right side lifting out of the water, a moment later the boat somersaulted into the air before disappearing and sinking. Picture: PA/PA Wire

Speaking earlier at Coniston Water, Ms Campbell said: “This is the site of 50 years ago where he met his Waterloo. Luckily there is a lot of people that still support his achievements and it is very humbling for me to be able to be here and represent my family and pay my own respects to my father.

READ MORE - I can still hear Donald screaming trapped in the cockpit

“It is really hard to describe one’s emotions. For me the biggest one is humility. I am just so proud to be my father’s daughter and to have witnessed what he did in his life, and that people are still following him here today is fantastic.

“His life lives on through on a lot of other people’s imagination and their own courage.”

Holding her father’s teddy bear mascot, she said: “He survived the accident with my dad. He has got his life jacket on today because we don’t want any more emotions in the water.

“He was with my dad through all his achievements and through his death so I thought he had better come along today and relieve the moment.”

After she laid a wreath at her father’s graveside, she spoke of feeling “pride” at the public recognition of “a true hero”.

She said: “It was beyond these days of risk assessment and health and safety, and he went out and he did what he did. He did it most times with huge success.”