Search underway to locate missing helicopter and pilot - Port Stephens-Hunter PD

Friday, 27 October 2023 03:16:12 PM

A search remains underway after a helicopter was reported missing to officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District.

About 8.50am yesterday (Thursday 26 October 2023), police have been told that a helicopter departed Cessnock bound for a property at either Wallis Island, near Forster, or Belmore River, near Kempsey.

When the helicopter did not arrive at either location, officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District were later notified and commenced inquiries.

Police have been told a 54-year-old man and a dog were onboard the helicopter at the time.

Investigators are now conducting an extensive land and sea search around the Port Stephens area, with assistance from Marine Area Command, Police Rescue, NSW SES, Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Surf Life Saving NSW.

As part of inquiries, police are examining debris located on Bennetts Beach at Hawks Nest, to establish if it is from the missing aircraft.

As investigations continue, anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been notified.