Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen a helicopter in distress in the Anna Bay area on Friday to come forward. The appeal for help comes after a weekend of exhaustive and frustrating search around the area failed to locate the missing helicopter.
Police were advised of an aircraft fading off the radar about 6.30pm (Friday 6 September 2019), before a search operation was commenced in the vicinity of Anna Bay. The search operation is continuing. The search is being coordinated by officers from the NSW Police Marine Area Command with the assistance of Port Stephens-Hunter Police District.
Police are interested in talking to anyone who may have been in the Anna Bay/Fishermans Beach area between 5pm and 7 pm on Friday or may have filmed the helicopter or taken images of it.
Police are urging witnesses to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
On Friday, a privately owned Bell UH1 helicopter went missing in rough winds and storms at about 6.30pm on Friday evening off Anna Bay near Newcastle. There were five people, four men, and one woman aboard the helicopter. The aircraft belonged to Brisbane Helicopters owner and pilot David Kerr. It is believed David Kerr was flying the aircraft at the moment – he is said to be an experienced and skillful pilot.
A major air and sea search operation spotted the tail rotor of the aircraft before 9am Saturday and the main airframe was sighted 30 minutes later, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.