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Friday, 10 August, 2001, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Body in lake is Campbell
Bluebird
The Bluebird was on a record-breaking attempt
A coroner has confirmed that human remains found in Coniston Water are those of powerboating legend Donald Campbell.

An inquest heard tests on DNA samples taken from the body and from members of Campbell's family proved the remains were 1.9 million times more likely to be those of the speed hero's than anyone else.

Campbell was trying to break his own water speed record of 276mph when his boat somersaulted before crashing.

Divers found the remains in May - 34 years after Campbell's attempt ended in his death.


I want people to come and say: 'Wow'

Gina Campbell, speaking about the funeral plan
Furness coroner Ian Smith said there was "absolutely no doubt" the body was that of Donald Campbell.

After the hearing in Barrow Town Hall, Cumbria, Campbell's daughter Gina, 51, said she felt "totally relieved".

She said: "There was always a little bit of doubt. Now there is no doubt.

"The mystery of the lake now becomes a reality."

Gina Campbell
Gina Campbell: "Totally relieved"
Cumbria Police scenes-of-crime officer Carl Langhorn told the hearing that DNA expert Dr Tim Clayton carried out tests on the remains and on samples from Ms Campbell and Donald Campbell's sister Jean Wales.

Mr Langhorn said: "Dr Clayton holds a strong view that the remains are from a person related to Gina and Jean.

"He believes it is 1.9 million times more likely that they have originated from the father of Gina than anyone else."

Ms Campbell confirmed to Mr Smith her father's name, date of birth and that he was born in Kingston, Surrey.

Funeral plans

Mr Smith said: "The purpose today is to say if we can establish for sure the identity of the remains discovered in the lake and the answer is clearly yes.

"I am satisfied beyond any doubt that the remains are that of Donald Malcolm Campbell CBE."

Mr Smith adjourned the hearing so a full inquest can take place at a later date.

Donald Campbell
Campbell came from a family of speed record-breakers
Ms Campbell said her father's funeral would be in the village of Coniston in September and hoped a representative from the Royal Family would attend.

She said: "I think my father would be happy in the hills with the Coniston people who have been so kind and looked after him all these years.

"I expect it to be a big funeral - it's not going to be a closed shop.

"I want it to be a celebration - I don't want it to be a sombre occasion. I want people to come and say: 'Wow'.

"We are hoping for representation from the Royal Family and the RAF."

Remains found

Interviewed on Thursday by BBC Radio WM, she revealed details of the remains found by the diving team.

"A human form was found, a body with the consistency of wax and that to me is sort of comforting.

"For instance, my father's St Christopher was round his neck and they found that, on a long cord which he always wore.

"His race suit which he always wore was only thin nylon. It was ripped at the ankles and cuffs but it was intact.

"In his pocket were told old half crowns and four penny pieces. It was quite staggering."

The remains were placed in a blue box and draped in a Union Jack flag before being brought to the shore.

Some of Campbell's clothes, including his helmet, shoes, lifejacket and teddy bear mascot were recovered earlier.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Vicky Slowe of the Ruskin Museum in Coniston
"It seems right and proper that the remains are raised"
See also:

29 May 01 | UK
08 Mar 01 | UK
04 Feb 01 | UK
18 Jun 00 | UK
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