Bainbridge Island, WA Helicopter Crash, Sept 1995
(Seattle Times) -- Two nurses were killed early Monday, and their pilot is presumed drowned, after a medical-evacuation helicopter crashed into Puget Sound near Bainbridge Island and sank in 700 feet of water.
The Italian-made Agusta A109A, operated by Airlift Northwest, left Boeing Field just south of Seattle about 5:25 a.m. Fifteen minutes later, the Coast Guard received a report of a loud "pop" heard south of Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island's east side.
Seattle Fire Department officials said the bodies of the two nurses were recovered by a Seattle fireboat after wreckage and an oil slick from the helicopter were seen near Blakely Rock.
MICHAEL COPASS, Airlift Northwest medical director, identified the nurses as MARNA FLEETWOOD, 40, of Brier, Wash., and AMY RIEBE, 41, of Seattle. The pilot was identified as LEE BOTHWELL, 42, of Puyallup, Wash.
No distress signal was heard from the helicopter, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.