North Kaikoura helicopter crashes north of Canterbury

Rivermouth Kekringo.

Locals scramble to rescue the passengers of a helicopter that has crashed north of Kaikoura.

Lyn Mertens, the owner of the Coastal Lodge, said she watched in horror as the helicopter fell to the ground and spin in circles as it descended.

“We watched it spin, turn and spin,” said Mehrtens.

“It’s scary. You’re just so helpless. You can’t do anything.”

Mehrtens said her husband ran to the crash site, and others in the community were on tractors doing what they could to help those inside the wreck.

Everyone who can help until emergency crews arrive.

The helicopter appears to have crashed near the storefront, which was a popular spot for helicopter visits.

A spokeswoman for Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd said it is not one of their devices.

Saint John sent three helicopters to the scene – one from Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

Says an ambulance spokesperson was on the way from Kaikoura, as well as an intensive care paramedic and manager from Blenheim.

He says the crew were still making their way to the scene after they were called at 12.42pm.

The 60 km journey from Kaikoura to Clarence, which is located at the mouth of the Kekringo River, will take a 48-minute drive along State Highway 1, according to
Google Maps.

Meanwhile, the journey from Blenheim will take 52 minutes to drive just 68 km.

Police confirmed the crash near the Kekringo River, north of Kaikoura.

Police said, “The emergency services were alerted to the accident at 12.40 pm and are now on their way to the scene.”

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“At this early stage, there is no confirmed information about the number of people who were on board the helicopter, or any injuries,” he added.

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