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Monday, July 27, 1998 Published at 19:08 GMT 20:08 UK


Bodies found in crashed seaplane

Divers found the two bodies in the submerged hull

Two people are reported to have drowned after a wartime flying boat crashed and sank off the south coast near Southampton.

[ image:  ]
The bodies were found in the submerged fuselage of the plane which ditched in the Solent about half-a-mile coast near Netley in Hampshire.

The seaplane had been carrying 18 passengers. Nine were taken to hospital following the crash.

Witnesses say the plane - a vintage Catalina - had tried to land but on its first attempt it skimmed the water and took off again.

On a second attempt the nose of the plane touched the water and the plane flipped over.

Rescue efforts

[ image: The vintage Catalina was taking part in a VIP promotion]
The vintage Catalina was taking part in a VIP promotion
A number of rescue boats were brought in as well as a police helicopter and a large floating crane.

The plane has now been pulled out of the water and taken to the shore where investigations as to the cause of the accident will begin.

The vintage plane was taking part in a VIP promotion flight from Southampton in conjunction with the city council's 'Sea Wings 2000' event - Southampton's millennium celebrations designed to showcase the city's aviation and maritime history.

Southampton's mayor was amongst the passengers.

There are no reports as to whether there was any communication between the plane and the ground before the flying boat came down.

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