Re-starting search not justified 2005

17 November 2005

The Rescue Coordination NZ has confirmed today that the search for the missing helicopter remains suspended, as the latest information is not reliable.

RCCNZ tasked a helicopter yesterday evening to follow up a reported 121.5 MHz frequency signal in the Mount Pirongia area, east of Raglan. The signal was not heard and nothing was sighted. This morning, the coordinator of the private search asked RCCNZ to reactivate the search on the basis of several new signal reports. Search and rescue experts from RCCNZ, Police and CAA thoroughly reviewed this information and found the signals were too random and unreliable to justify the continuation of the search. 

Maritime NZ Acting Director, Cath Taylor: “Most of these signals are intermittent and weak, and none permit a source to be fixed. There is also no way of knowing whether these signals came from a distress beacon.

“The other important thing to stress is that over the last 13 days, a large number of aircraft have searched this large area where the sporadic signals have been detected. 

“The RCCNZ has given a significant commitment to this search, and we are satisfied with the extensive amount of searching carried out covering some 20,000 square kilometres. 

“We understand and sympathise with the family and where they stand on this, and why they want to continue their search. Sadly, however, the chance of there being survivors is now remote. At the end of the day, RCCNZ is charged with coordinating searches for people in distress or in need of assistance. We do not have a mandate to look for wreckage,” she said.

All media releases

Subscribe Follow us News feed

Call the MNZ media line

Media centre

Additional information for media.
Media centre

Media archive

View our historic media releases.

Media archive