Wellington Scoop

Oscar winner drowns when raft capsizes in Waiohine River

A man who drowned while rafting in the Waiohine River yesterday has been identified as Michael Alexander Hopkins, 53, from Greytown. He was a long-term collaborator with Peter Jackson, and he had won two Academy Awards for his sound editing of Jackson’s features.

Worked on Lord of the Rings and King Kong

Tribute from Peter Jackson

News from NZ Police
Senior Serjeant Carolyn Watson says “Police thank all those who assisted in the recovery of Mr Hopkins and the rescue of his companions, particularly the jet boat operator who came to our aid and, at considerable risk to himself, was able to rescue the woman.

“All three were wearing life jackets, wetsuits and helmets at the time and it appears that Mr Hopkins got into trouble after they were ejected from the raft in a fast flowing eddie.”

News from NZ Police – December 30
Wairarapa Police this afternoon rescued two people after a boat capsized on the Waiohine River. A man in his 50s died after the capsize. The three capsized from an inflatable raft near the swing bridge at the foot of the Tararua Ranges just after 3.00pm.

Members of the public heard their calls for help and contacted Police who responded with the support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

A woman was rescued just after 5.00pm by a jet boat.