Martens was 34 years old
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Leeuwarder Courant, the 34-year old pilot and tactical co-orindator Erwin Warnies were both killed in the crash, which occurred just off the coast of the Dutch Caribbean possession of Aruba. Two other crew-members survived.
The NH90 helicopter that Martens was piloting took off at around 14:30 local time, and headed around 12.5km off the coast towards the sea. The accident occurred during a patrol-flight, on behalf of the coast guard. The post-crash rescue mission was made more difficult by strong winds, high waves, and falling natural light.
The reason for the crash isn’t yet known, but all NH90 helicopters have been grounded following the crash.
Mertens lived in Leeuwarden, and aside from her work as a pilot was also a talented fashion-photographer, with credits in Vogue Magazine. She grew up in Well in Limburg, and between 2010 and 2015 was the co-pilot for a Search and Rescue helicopter, based at Leeuwarden airfield.
Image via Wikimedia. License-free.