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Everett Public Works

Posted on: November 9, 2023

Sunken helicopter removed from Copper Lake

A flying Blackhawk helicopter above a small helicopter on a tow truck

The helicopter that sunk in Copper Lake (a tributary to Everett’s Water Utilities’ Sultan River watershed) on September 8, 2023, was extricated from the lake and removed intact from the watershed on Wednesday, November 8.

The removal operation was launched from the PUD’s helipad located at the Jackson Powerhouse. Operations were conducted by Global Diving and Salvage, a privately contracted dive operation and Northwest Helicopters, a privately contracted helicopter operator. They utilized two helicopters, including a Blackhawk, and a dive team to safely extract the sunken helicopter from the lake and transport it to the PUD’s helipad where it was loaded onto a trailer. City of Everett and PUD staff were onsite at the helipad to inspect the helicopter for possible leakage. Washington Department of Ecology and Department of Natural Resources staff monitored the recovery at Copper Lake. All costs associated with the recovery were covered by the responsible party.

Everett is grateful to all of its agency partners for the extensive coordination it took to get this resolved as expeditiously as possible. Public health was always the top priority in dealing with this incident and resulted in preserving and protecting Everett’s drinking water quality.

More information about Everett's water quality is available at

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