British engineer and racer Donald Campbell died on this day in 1967 while attempting to break his own water speed record in his jet-powered boat, Bluebird K7.
Campbell died on Coniston Water in the Lake District, making the required second run of the two-leg attempt to break the record he set in 1964.
As the video above recalls, he was less than 400 metres from the end measuring marker and travelling at more than 300mph when the nose of Bluebird rose out of the water, losing stability at a velocity never before achieved in its 12-year history.
The boat performed almost a complete somersault before smashing back into the lake, disintegrating and killing Campbell instantly.
He had recorded a speed of 297mph on the first leg of the attempt, and was said to have reached nearly 320mph on the second when disaster struck.
Divers were sent into the lake, about 120ft deep where the accident occurred, to attempt to recover Campbell’s body, but they were unable to locate him.
The speed specialist had broken the water speed record a total of seven times, and was also the last man to hold the land speed record in a wheel-driven, non-jet engine car. To date he remains the only man to hold the water and land speed records simultaneously.