Three people found alive after helicopter crashes near Auckland Islands

Three people have been found alive after a private helicopter crashed near the Auckland Islands, south of New Zealand.

The private helicopter, operated by Southern Lakes, was travelling to the Auckland Islands, which are roughly 460km south of New Zealand, when it went missing on Monday night with three people on-board.

Rescue Coordination Centre duty manager Kevin Banaghan told Newshub rescuers found three survivors walking around on a small island - at the northeastern end of Auckland Island near Rangi Cove.

The survivors are now being transported to Enderby Island and are "only slightly injured".

Banaghan said the owner of Southern Lakes, Sir Richard Hayes, who had been involved in rescue efforts, found the three men about 11:50am.

"It's a great result - it really is," Banaghan told Newshub.

Banaghan said the Civil Aviation Authority would have to ascertain what had taken place.

There were three choppers in the air searching for the men - two from Heli Otago and one from Southern Lakes, Heli Otago pilot Kevin Gale said.

"A Southern Lakes machine got there first, and within what looks to be about five minutes, they found three people waving to them on the beach," he told Newshub.

"It's a serious piece of country down there, and to go down there and find three [people] well is fantastic."

Earlier on Tuesday, Banaghan said a fishing boat had located a door from the missing helicopter.

The helicopter had been travelling to the islands for a medical evacuation.

The person who was meant to be evacuated has been taken by boat to Bluff.


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