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Search underway to locate missing helicopter and pilot

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A search remains underway after a helicopter was reported missing to officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District.

About 8.50am on Thursday 26 October, police were told a chopper departed Cessnock bound for a property at either Wallis Island, near Forster, or Belmore River, near Kempsey.

But, when the helicopter did not arrive at either location, officers received notification and began inquiries.

Police have been told a 54-year-old man and a dog were onboard the aircraft at the time.

Investigators are now conducting an extensive land and sea search around the Port Stephens area, with assistance from Marine Area Command, Police Rescue, NSW SES, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Surf Life Saving NSW.

As part of inquiries, police are also examining debris located on Bennetts Beach at Hawks Nest to establish if it is from the missing chopper.

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

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been notified.

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