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Sunday, 4 February, 2001, 19:15 GMT
Divers find Bluebird wreck
Bluebird accident
Moment when the Bluebird record attempt went wrong
Divers have found the wreckage of Donald Campbell's famous boat Bluebird 34 years after it disappeared in a catastrophic accident.

Donald Campbell was killed during a world water speed record on Coniston Water, Cumbria.

His jet-powered Bluebird somersaulted repeatedly before crashing to the bottom of the lake. He had earlier beaten the world water speed record and the accident happened at over 300mph on the return leg.

Sir Donald Campbell
Sir Donald Campbell
The Bluebird has lain at the bottom of the lake since the accident on 4 January, 1967.

The wreckage of the Bluebird was discovered by divers late last year and the wreck has been filmed by a BBC crew.

Bill Smith, a family friend of the Campbell's, helped to pinpoint the wreck. He said it was in remarkable good condition given the timespan that has elapsed since it was found.

"The tail end has sunk a little bit, but the Union Jacks are still on the tail after all this time."

The discovery of the wreck is likely to divide the Campbell family. According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Campbell's widow Tonia Bern-Campbell is adamant that it should never be raised. She wants it left as a memorial to him.

She added: "Donald always said: 'The craft stays with the skipper'. Therefore, as we never found him and he's somewhere in that lake. I don't want it up."

She said she was considering legal action to stop any future salvage operation.

Don Wales kept up a family tradition

But his daughter Gina Campbell told the BBC: "I'm glad they found it. I never, ever really believed it until now. You see the film, the photographs and you think it has happened to somebody else, but it hasn't happened to somebody else."

Donald Campbell was only 46 when he died and achieved legendary status in his own lifetime.

He came from a dynasty of world speed record breakers. His father Malcolm Campbell set the land speed record in 1935.

And last year, Sir Malcolm's grandson and Donald's nephew Don Wales smashed the British land-speed record for an electrically-powered car.

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19 Sep 98 | UK
Bomb clips Bluebird's wings
21 Sep 98 | UK
Bluebird falls short
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