Gold Coast helicopter crash: New Zealand survivors speak out about horrific day

The Kiwi survivors of the deadly helicopter crash at SeaWorld have opened up about the tragedy that killed four people. 

In a sit-down interview with Australia's 60 Minutes, they explained everything that happened that afternoon. 

It was 2pm on an afternoon joyride above paradise, picturesque and perfect in almost every way - until it wasn't.

"I heard from the microphone somebody saying 'on your left, on your left' and I thought [it was] something beautiful and I looked at the left and I saw the helicopter underneath me and then I knew we were in serious trouble," Kiwi survivor Elmarie Steenberg told 60 Minutes.

In their own words on Australian television, Edward and Marle Swart, Riaan and Elmarie Steenberg shared their story of that harrowing day and their own efforts to avoid tragedy. 

When the 60 Minutes host said to them there was a video where Edward's hand reached out and touched the pilot, Edward confirmed it was him.

"That was me. I had to warn him but I think deep inside myself I knew it was too late," Edward said.

Both helicopters collided mid-air above a busy Gold Coast beach.

"[When I saw] like the sea under us and I was like 'oh we're going to die today'. I honestly thought 'this is it'," Elmarie said.

But their pilot would pull off a landing that would save their lives with strangers coming to help. 

"Everybody was out of the helicopter and I remember he [the pilot] said 'keep calm, I am going to get you out' and that's how he got me out and carried me on the sandbank," Elmarie said.

Pilot Ash Jenkins, British newlyweds Ron and Diane Hughes and Vanessa Tadros died on board the other helicopter.

Elmarie and Marle would undergo surgery to remove glass and debris that is still being found.

"I just want to get that stuff out of my body because it reminds you of the day," Elmarie said.

Air safety investigators are still searching for answers to what went wrong on that January 2 afternoon. 

"Just to make sense of it. We just want to really understand how it happened," Marle said.

But, whether it was pilot error or not, when Elmarie was asked, "Do you think he [the pilot] saved your life?"

She replied "I think so. I think he really [knew] what he did."

They're home in Auckland with their grandchildren in their arms and alive.