28 May 2012

Wreckage of helicopter in Lake Sumner confirmed

8:02 pm on 28 May 2012

The wreckage of a missing helicopter has been found at the bottom of Lake Sumner in North Canterbury, police have confirmed.

Michael Mehrtens, 35, crashed his helicopter into the lake while carrying out a weed spraying operation for the Department of Conservation last Monday.

A remotely operated underwater robot found an item of interest 127 metres under the lake's surface on Sunday night.

Police on Monday confirmed it is the wreckage of the missing helicopter. However, Mr Mehrtens' body has not been found.

Members of the Navy's dive squad are working with police to recover the wreckage and will continue to search for the body.

Police say the search will be reassessed over the next two days as more information is gathered about the terrain at the bottom of the lake.