Fox Glacier helicopter crash
A spokesman for the helicopter company involved in a fatal crash on Fox Glacier has given a heartfelt message to the victims as police postpone the recovery of the four bodies remaining at the crash site.
Alpine Adventures organisational systems manager Barry Whiteland said “I do feel for the families involved. For the community. For everybody, because it’s not an easy time for any of us at this stage.”
Whiteland read a statement from the company outside the rescue co-ordination centre in Fox Glacier on Sunday afternoon saying “Fox Heli Services’ thoughts are now with the family and passengers and of the pilot of course, reports the Daily Mail.
“The pilot [Mitchell Gameren] was a very valued team member of course with our company.
“As far as the company is concerned, we are very, very moved by it all.
“We had a meeting with the pilots this morning. A very sombre meeting.”
The company plans to return to operations but at this stage it was not clear when that would happen.
Police have postponed the recovery of the bodies for the remaining four victims.
West Coast inspector John Canning, of Greymouth said “we have severe weather forecast for the next two days but if we do get a window we will start going up there again.
“But it appears we may not get an opportunity for two days.
“The environment up there is very challenging. It is very dangerous.
“It’s going to be done. It’s going to be done slowly, methodically and safely and that may take a wee bit of time,” Canning said.
Transport Accident Investigation Commission general manager Peter Northcote said the advantage of the bad weather was investigators were able to have the time to plan the recovery properly.
Three bodies had been recovered from Fox Glacier after the helicopter crash that left seven dead.
The bodies were expected to be brought to the Fox Glacier settlement before being transferred to Christchurch or Auckland.
Fox Glacier Helicopter Crash VICTIMS NAMED
Police have named the victims of Saturday’s crash, which involved four people from the UK, two Australians, and the New Zealand pilot. Three bodies have been recovered from Fox Glacier after a helicopter crash that left seven dead.
Police have named the victims of Saturday’s crash, which involved four people from the UK, two Australians, and the New Zealand pilot.
They were Mitchell Paul Gameren of Queenstown, 28, Andrew Virco of Cambridge in England, 50, Katharine Walker of Cambridge in England, 51, Nigel Edwin Charlton of Hampshire, 66, Cynthia Charlton of Hampshire, 70, Sovannmony Leang of New South Wales, 27, and Josephine Gibson of New South Wales, 29.
Katharine Walker was the head of Radiotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Walker had worked there for 23 years, according tot he hospitals website.
Rescue teams were winched the site of Fox Glacier helicopter crash earlier on Sunday.