Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Saturday 12 May 1934
AIR LINER LOST IN THE CHANNEL. Lifeboats' Fruitless Search. DUNGENESS BOAT OUT FIVE HOURS.
A FRENCH air liner was lost in the Channel early on Wednesday afternoon whilst on her way to Croydon from Paris. The machine, one of a three-engined type belonging to Air France, was carrying three passengers in addition to her crew of three which included the pilot, M. Cannet, who was a very experienced airman.
ASKED FOR POSITION
The air liner reported that she was leaving the French coast for England a few minutes after noon on Wednesday. A short while after the pilot asked for his position by wireless, there being a considerable amount of fog in mid-Channel. Nothing more was heard from the machine after this, and when she was overdue at Croydon anxiety for her safety increased.
It was not until the afternoon, however, that a definite clue to the whereabouts of the missing aeroplane was obtained, and it was contained in a brief message wirelessed to Croydon by a searching machine that what appeared to be aircraft wreckage had been seen some 12 miles south east by east of Dungeness Point.
The coastguards then called out the Dungeness motor lifeboat, the Charles Cooper Henderson, which was launched at 5.20 p.m. with the Assistant Coxswain, Mr. J. Oiller, a brother of Mr. C. Oiller, the Coxswain, in charge. Mr. C. Oiller was away fishing at the time.
DOVER LIFEBOAT LAUNCHED
A little later Dover's lifeboat, the Sir William Hilary, which is specially fitted for giving assistance to aircraft in distress, also left her station. Other vessels, including a French lifeboat from Boulogne and a French tug also hurried to the spot indicated in the message. The work of the searching vessels was made more difficult by fog which was very dense in places, the Dover lifeboat at one time reporting visibility at no more than 15 yards. It was not until several hours later that it was learned that the lifeboats were returning, having found no trace of the lost air liner
"WE HAVE FOUND NOTHING"
Shortly after 10 p.m. the Dungeness boat returned to her station at the Point. "We have found nothing," said Mr. J. Oiller. "We made a search over a very wide area and got very near to Boulogne at one time. We made contact with a French tug which was searching but they had been no more successful than us. The fog was very thick at times and hampered our work."
The Dover lifeboat arrived back just before midnight. She had made a very wide search, too, without result.