Collision: The 1964 accident was captured on film.
Collision: The 1964 accident was captured on film.

A group of US families planning to return to Bermuda this summer to mark the 50th anniversary of an air collision that claimed 17 lives have received an unexpected offer of assistance.

Deep-sea diver Graham Maddocks read Wednesday’s Bermuda Sun article that told of how relatives of the dead airmen will return to the island in June for a memorial visit.

And he was so touched by the story that he has offered to take a wreath to the seabed and place it by the wreckage of the two planes that collided on June 29, 1964.

Mr Maddocks, who runs Triangle Diving, told the Sun: “I have been told that the two planes are around 250ft down, which is dive-able for us.

“And I would love to do something for these guys that are coming over from the US.

“It is entirely up to the relatives who are coming over to Bermuda whether we do this for them.

“But I thought it might be nice to take a wreath down to the bottom of the sea and maybe video the dive and provide our visitors with a recording of the film.

“It’s just an idea at this stage — and we would have to do an initial practice dive in the deep waters off St David’s to make sure we knew exactly where the planes are. 

“But it is a possibility.

“At the end of the day it will down to the group whether this is something they would like to be done.”

Mike Belter, whose father, Lowell, died in the collision between two US Air Force planes has coordinated efforts to get the relatives of the dead airmen back to Bermuda for the 50th anniversary.

He told the Bermuda Sun he appreciated the offer and would speak to the rest of the group about Mr Maddocks’ idea before making a decision.