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Recovery Crew Finds Wreckage Of Helicopter

Mon., Oct. 16, 1995

The wreckage of a medical-evacuation helicopter that crashed into Puget Sound last month, killing three people, has again been located.

Deep Water Recovery Services of Seattle will try to recover what’s left of the Airlift Northwest chopper as soon as arrangements can be made with the Coast Guard, said Debra Eckrote, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator.

She said Friday that the wreckage is in shipping lanes, so permission is needed to move a barge into the area.

It’s the second time the wreckage has been located.

A Navy ship detected the wreckage almost two weeks ago, but strong currents had moved it by the time a salvage team arrived.

The helicopter crashed into the Sound off Bainbridge Island on Sept. 11.

The bodies of flight nurses Marna Fleetwood, 40, of Brier, and Amy Riebe, 41, of Seattle, were recovered shortly after the crash.

The body of the pilot, Lee Bothwell, 42, of Puyallup, is believed to be with the wreckage.

The helicopter was minutes into a flight from Boeing Field to Bainbridge Island to pick up a woman in labor when it went down.

Eckrote has said she needs to examine the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash.

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