Statement from Graeme Ayres, Antarctica NZ
On behalf of Antarctica New Zealand, I wish to extend our deepest sympathizes to the families of the Kenn Borek Air Twin Otter crew, whose deaths have recently been confirmed.
We remained hopeful throughout the search process that the vastly experienced crew would have survived. In situations such as this it is so important to have hope as it helps provide impetus to the rescue.
We are so sad our optimism alone was not sufficient to provide the outcome for which we all hoped.
Many of our staff and event personnel have personal links to the Kenn Borek crews, and the loss is felt deeply across the organisation. Antarctica New Zealand staff, continue to work alongside the United States Antarctic Programme in the emergency response and recovery process.
As part of this response Southern Lakes Helicopters, who are contracted to Antarctica New Zealand, are working alongside their US counterparts, the pilots of PHI Inc, to access the crash site.
We recognise the tremendous efforts of our United States and New Zealand teams, who are working in difficult and at time, extreme conditions. The families by now will know these teams are doing all they can to return their loved one to them.
Our thoughts remain with all who have a connection to this dedicated crew, in particular their families and friends both in Antarctica and overseas.