Republic Seabee in Lake Washington Forward Back Home
Republic SeabeeIn 1991, designed mainly as a proof of concept salvage mission, a Republic Seabee was recovered from Lake Washington. Submerged south of Interstate 90 off the East End of Mercer Island, the plane was discovered, documented, and recovered from a depth of 73 feet.

The Seabee was found upside down with the wheels extended as if it had been parked on land. Little is known about how or when the plane ended up in the lake. It’s likely that the plane was parked at a nearby airfield and blown into the lake. Another scenario could have the plane attempting a water landing. With the wheels down, the plane may have flipped.

This four-seat single engine amphibian was designed as a low-cost utilitarian sport airplane. About 1,200 of these seaplanes were built from 1946 to 1948. There are still as many as 500 in service around the world. Restored Seabees are worth $50,000 to $60,000.

Republic Seabee Image Gallery



As the plane nears the surface the tail and wings appear. The Seabee reaches the surface
Lift bags keep the plane afloat The fuselage of this aircraft is supported by lilfting bags.  In the background the East Channel Bridge of Interstate 90.
Once secured and floating the Republic Seabee is towed to the south end of Lake Washington.  There the plane was placed on a flatbed trailer for transportation. The plane is towed to shore
Bob Mester standing by the Seabee's rudder Here Robert Mester rides on the tail of the Seabee, the recovery mission a success!


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