Search for missing helicopter continues

6 November 2005

Two helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft are searching for a missing helicopter in a large area of the North Island between Raglan and Wanganui today.

Tomorrow’s search will be based on three sightings of the missing helicopter flying above Mokau, in Taranaki, at around 11am on Friday. RCCNZ Mission Coordinator John Dickson says these independent sightings, which were received this afternoon, are believed to be the missing helicopter.

“This is very welcome news, as it tightens our search area considerably. Prior to these sightings, the last confirmed sighting was south of Raglan Harbour at 10.14am on Friday. These new sightings reduce the search area by about a third.”

“At this stage, unless new information comes to hand, tomorrow we’ll be concentrating on searching from Mokau to Wanganui.”

“The 16 helicopters that have been searching today will continue to search tomorrow. There’s still a lot of ground to cover, and searching can be very slow at times because the helicopters need to cover each area very carefully. So a large number of helicopters enables us to carry out the search as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, which is critical in case the two men are injured.”

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