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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 16:15 GMT
Ground search for missing tourist
Ms Timings and Mr Montgomerie flew over mountains near Queenstown
The pair flew over mountains near Queenstown
A ground search is to get under way for a British backpacker presumed dead after a helicopter crash in New Zealand.

Hannah Timings, 28, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and helicopter pilot Campbell Montgomerie, 27, have been missing for more than a week.

The pair lost contact with air traffic controllers on 3 January, while flying over the country's South Island in poor weather.

A number of helicopter searches have been carried out, and now search and rescue workers are to hunt for them on foot.

But police say Ms Timings and Mr Montgomerie, 27, who are believed to have been a couple, are probably dead.

Lost in cloud

Television New Zealand reports that - weather permitting - 30 rescue teams will begin searching the Fiordland area on Tuesday morning, local time.

Ms Timings, who worked as a furniture buyer in London, had been travelling in New Zealand since October and was due to return to the UK in March.

Mr Montgomerie worked running tours around the island and flights for tourists from hotel to hotel.

The couple had been heading from Queenstown to Milford Sound when Mr Montgomerie radioed air traffic control to say they were lost in cloud.

They lost contact with air traffic controllers some six minutes later.

Missing UK tourist presumed dead
10 Jan 04  |  Gloucestershire
Bad weather halts backpacker search
09 Jan 04  |  Gloucestershire
Search for backpacker halted
08 Jan 04  |  Gloucestershire

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