It has now been confirmed that all seven bodies have been recovered from the horrific helicopter crash at Fox Glacier. As the helicopter was stuck in a crevasse between house-sized boulders of ice, it was no easy feat to reach. However a break in rainstorms enabled a recovery effort to get underway, which was nearly 800 metres up the valley.
The six tourists, who were aboard the Alpine Adventures single-engine Squirrel helicopter, were accompanied by New Zealand pilot Mitch Gameren (28). Mitch Gameren’s sister has paid him an emotional tribute, commenting how Mitch was just a young pilot with a “passion for flying”.
Police have now released the names of the six victims, which involved four people from the UK and two Australians.
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.
The Fox Glacier community’s tourism operators are also extending their sympathies to the families of the seven victims. With the Glacier Country Tourism Group, which represents 95 operators, also expressing their thoughts and condolences to the Alpine Adventures company and workforce at this time. The group’s chairperson Rob Jewell said their focus was on providing as much support as possible.