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Sunday, 28 October, 2001, 17:56 GMT
Bluebird could race again
Bluebird
The wreckage of Bluebird K7 was found this year
The late Donald Campbell's daughter is hoping to rebuild his Bluebird craft and race it on the lake where he was killed, it has emerged.

Gina Campbell, who has twice broken women's water-speed records, is considering reconstructing the wreckage of Bluebird K7 and racing it on Coniston Water, in tribute to her father.

Sir Donald's smashed vessel was raised from the lake earlier this year. He was buried in Coniston last month.


It would require a considerable amount of money and sponsorship

Mike Humphreys, Ruskin Museum
Sir Donald perished when his jet-powered boat, Bluebird K7, flipped over and crashed as he tried to break his own world water-speed record on the Lake District water.

The remains of the K7 are currently in the Newcastle workshop of Bill Smith, the underwater surveyor and amateur diver who discovered the wreck.

It was due to be bought with lottery grants and displayed at Ruskin Museum, the local museum of Coniston.

But Mike Humphreys, a custodian at the Ruskin Museum, explained that Ms Campbell was not happy about the craft being displayed as a mangled wreck.

On Sunday he said: "The indications are that they [Heritage Lottery fund] would probably pay for it as an important historical exhibit, but it would have to remain in its current condition.

"The problem is that Gina is worried about how you display a piece of wreckage that looks like a motorway crash. There are moral and ethical issues to think about.

Gina Campbell
Gina Campbell wants to pay tribute
"One idea we had was to display it in a glass case, put a larger glass case outside that and fill the gap between them with water.

"An idea Gina has suggested is to restore it to working order and race it across Coniston water as a tribute."

He explained that funding the project to put Bluebird back on the water would be very expensive.

"It would require a considerable amount of money and sponsorship. We are a charity and do not stand to make any money out of this," continued Mr Humphreys.

Compromise plan

"Our only consideration is to do what the family want. We want the boat here, but not if that is going to make the family unhappy.

"We are all working together and hopefully some sort of compromise can be reached."

Donald Campbell was 45 when he died in 1967 as he tried to break his own world water speed record of 267mph.

During its 34 years underwater, the boat's jet engines were ruined but its frame was reasonably preserved.


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