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AUGUST 7, 2001

Diniz crash bodies recovered

THE bodies of the pilot of Joao Paulo Diniz's Augusta helicopter and his fashion model girlfriend have been recovered from the coast off the family's hometown of Sao Paulo over a week after the aircraft crashed.

Joao Diniz, brother of Prost Grand Prix director Pedro Diniz, was the sole survivor of the accident which occurred while flying to his holiday home in Maresias, 200 kilometers north of Sao Paulo, in the family's new helicopter.

There were four occupants were in the helicopter, and although none were injured in the crash only Diniz and the copilot managed to swim the three kilometers to shore through the cold and rough Atlantic Ocean. Diniz is an accomplished triathlete and former 'Iron Man' competitor, and it is reported that he attempted to carry 20-year-old Vogel on his back but the two were separated by a large wave and Vogel was swept away.

"We can confirm it is Fernanda's body," Major Onias Nossa of the Coast Guard told Reuters. "It matches the description we had, such as the two tattoos, on her neck and ankle, and the fact she was wearing only underwear." Her body was recovered on Friday, three days after the body of pilot.