§ Sir I. Fraser
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he will make a statement about the Service aeroplane that came down in Morecambe Bay, on 26th January.
A Washington aircraft with a crew of seven left Prestwick at 11.42 p.m. on 25th January, 1954, on the route Prestwick—St. Eval (not landing)—Laagens (Azores). Between 12.11 a.m. and 12.27 a.m. on 26th January a series of messages was received from the captain 283W of the aircraft culminating in the statement that they were at "4,000 feet, baling out." It is presumed that the aircraft crashed into the sea in Morecambe Bay.
An extensive search is being made in the area Isle of Man—Barrow-in-Furness—Liverpool Bay by aircraft of the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force, by vessels and aircraft of the Royal Navy, and by lifeboats. A search is also being made on land. No trace of the aircraft or its crew has yet been found. The search is still going on this afternoon (27th January).
I should like to express my sympathy with the relatives of the crew in their grave anxiety.