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Monday, July 27, 1998 Published at 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK


Mayor killed in seaplane crash

Divers found the two bodies in the submerged hull

The Mayor of Southhampton was one of two people killed when a wartime flying boat crashed and sank off the south coast near Southampton.

Alan Whitehead MP for Southampton Test: Mr Andrews was dedicated to Southampton
Michael Andrews' body was found in the submerged fuselage of the vintage Catalina which ditched in the Solent.

The body of the second man who drowned, Peter Shave from Eastleigh, was also recovered from the wreckage.

The seaplane had been carrying 18 passengers on a VIP trip organised by Southampton City Council.

[ image: Michael Andrews died in the crash]
Michael Andrews died in the crash
Ten of the 16 survivors were taken to hospital following the crash near Netley.

Mr Andrew's long term girlfriend Elizabeth Longman, was "utterly distraught" at the news.

Ms Longman, who left on a three-week holiday to California just seven days ago, is flying back from the United States after being contacted by Mr Andrews's relatives yesterday afternoon.

Survivor Inspector Phillip Robinson: We realised there were problems
A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "Mr Shave was pronounced dead on arrival at Southampton General Hospital and Mr Andrews was worked on for some time before he was later pronounced dead."

Witnesses say the vintage plane 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 causing it to flip over.

[ 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 into the cause of the accident will begin.

It was taking part in a 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.

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

Southampton's Deputy Mayor, Derek Burke, was among the survivors plucked from the water and taken to hospital.

Mr Burke said he escaped via an emergency exit and had been in the water for a few minutes before he was rescued.

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