Marlborough Sounds rescue operation underway


One person is believed dead after a helicopter crashed into powerlines and plunged into the Marlborough sea.

Witnesses began calling police at about 5:20pm today, reporting they’d seen a helicopter crash in French Pass after hitting the powerline which runs between D’Urville Island and the mainland.

The helicopter has now been found in 10-metre-deep water.

A commercial diver entered the water and confirmed the registration, and police believe there’s one person dead inside the wreckage.

The Coastguard, a rescue helicopter and a number of boats that were in the area at the time helped with the search.

The police launch and dive squad will leave Wellington on Saturday to head to the area and help recover the body.

The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating and the Coroner has been notified of the death.






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