Search for helicopter missing off Port Stephens

There are fears for a pilot and his dog who were onboard a helicopter that appears to have disappeared in the Port Stephens area.

Police have been told a helicopter departed Cessnock bound for Wallace Island near Kempsey at about 8:50am yesterday but failed to arrive at its destination.

Port Stephens-Hunter Police District officers have been told a 54-year-old man and a dog were onboard the helicopter at the time.

Following inquiries, investigators are conducting an extensive land and sea search around the Port Stephens area, with assistance from the Marine Area Command.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have also joined the search this morning with Port Stephens 30 assisting. 

Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Steve Raymond said a crew from Marine Rescue Port Stephens was deployed to assist with the search at 8am this morning.

“Volunteers on board PS 30 completed a thorough search on Port Stephens Bay before joining Water Police offshore.

“The Marine Rescue NSW boat is now conducting a parallel line search with a Water Police vessel from Port Stephens Heads north to Bennetts Beach,” Inspector Raymond said.

Some debris has been found washed up on Bennetts Beach but police cannot confirm if it is debris from the helicopter they’re looking for.

As investigations continue, anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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