A charm recovered from the depths of Coniston Water 34 years after Donald Campbell’s fatal final journey has made its second miraculous return.
When the wreckage of Bluebird K7 – the machine he was driving during the ill-fated bid to break his own 276mph water speed record in 1967 – was recovered in 2001, a tiny St Christopher’s medal that he held dear was also found and returned to his overjoyed daughter, Gina.
The 63-year-old, who lives in Thorner, near Leeds, has treasured the medal ever since but was devastated last year when she misplaced it after a charity tournament at Moor Allerton Golf Club.
Having searched high and low she invited psychic mediums and ex-police officers to search for it, but the medal was spotted in her garden last week.
Gina, herself a former women’s world water speed record holder, told the Yorkshire Post: “It has taken such a weight off my mind, my father was never without it and for it to have spent 34 years under water and then for me to lose it – it was just not an option.
“It’s a miracle and there aren’t words to describe it – I suppose I did think it was lost forever in reality.”
The medal, which along with teddy bear mascot Mr Whoppit was always with Campbell on speed record attempts, was given to him by his famous father, Sir Malcolm. It is engraved with “To Donald from Daddy, November 1941”.
Gina was convinced she had lost the medal at the golf club or in her 2.5 acre garden.
But last year Shaun Whitehead, 46, a chartered engineer keen on exploration, contacted her to talk about her grandfather’s Cocos Island expedition.
The medal came into conversation and he vowed to find it, returning with his wife and a metal detector to Gina’s garden last week. It was found buried in bonfire ashes and grass cuttings.
He said: “It was meant to be that we found it.”