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Search continues near Wanaka

*date: 2 November 2008 TIME : 10.30*

*Search continues near Wanaka *

**

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) says that the search is continuing for a missing a Robinson R22 helicopter and its sole occupant. The helicopter was last seen north of Wanaka.

RCCNZ Search Mission Coordinator Conrad Reynecke says four helicopters are continuing the search.

"The helicopters are doing a systematic search of the flight path and surrounding area including of Lake Wanaka, the islands in the lake and the surrounding countryside. Two are searching the shore and two are searching from east to west.

"Each helicopter has three people on board. We're tracking the flight path we think the pilot took and are widening the search from there," he said.

Because of the search a no-fly zone has been put in place in the Wanaka area.

RCCNZ is the national coordinator for all major (Category 2) search and rescue incidents within New Zealand's search and rescue region – an area covering more than 30 million square kilometres. It responds to significant incidents on land, air and sea, and all distress alerts from emergency beacons. RCCNZ is part of Maritime New Zealand and is Government-funded to provide a 24 hour, seven day a week service.

ENDS

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