'Plane Wrecked on a Sandbank
reference to the exciting adventure of an aeroplane pilot and his two passengers
off Blackpool on Wednesday, August 17 last—which was "dealt with" in Grand
Guignol style by a section of the Press—a true
account of the incident appeared in the Blackpool Gazette and Herald for August 20,
from which we give a brief risume of this somewhat unusual aeroplane "
the Wednesday evening in question, Capt. S. N. Giroux (late R.A.F.), Managing
Director of the Giro Aviation Co., of Southport, left the Hesketh Park Aerodrome at
8 p.m. for Blackpool, on a " D.H.6,"
accompanied by two passengers, Capt. W. P. Gibbons and Mr. T. J. Davies. They
reached Blackpool in about seven minutes, and after a stay of about half-an-hour
started on their return trip to Southport.
short distance out engine trouble developed, so Lieut. Giroux turned inshore again,
and decided to alight on a large sandbank two miles from the shore, with the
intention of landing one of his passengers and proceeding to Southport with the
other, returning again after for the first. Owing to the extreme
softness of the sand, however, the machine was
damaged on landing to such an extent that further flight was
the tide was flowing in, and slowly but surely covering the sandbank, prompt action
was necessary to attract attention ashore, and sundry articles of clothing, soaked
in petrol were utilised as flares until all their matches gave out—but without the
desired result. The "island " meanwhile having become non est, Lieut.
Giroux, pluckily, decided to swim ashore to obtain help, but after swimming for
about three-quarters of an hour he was carried far out of his course by the
currents, and only just managed to reach a hopper anchored in the mouth of the
Ribble and climb on board.
Accompanied by members of the hopper's crew, he at once set out
in a dinghy for the sandbank, which was reached just in time to rescue the marooned
passengers. They returned to the hopper, where they spent the night, and the next
day the aeroplane was salved, more or less damaged by its all night immersion in
Flight and Aircraft
Engineer, 1st September 1921