3 helicopter crew found safe on New Zealand island day later

April 22, 2019 - 10:06 pm

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Three crew members aboard a helicopter that crashed off the New Zealand coast while on route to attempt a medical evacuation from a fishing boat have been found alive on a remote island.

Rescue Coordination Centre duty manager Kevin Banaghan says the crew members were found Tuesday in their survival suits walking on a beach on uninhabited Auckland Island, some 500 kilometers (311 miles) southwest of Invercargill where they'd left from.

Banaghan says they don't have all the details yet on what happened but the outcome is great news.

He says the final contact with the helicopter was at 7:37 p.m. Monday and it dropped from radar soon after. A P-3 Orion plane searched unsuccessfully for the helicopter overnight, before a fishing boat found a side door Tuesday.

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