The search for a pilot missing after his helicopter crashed into Lake Sumner last week has been suspended.
Police said today the mission to locate 35-year-old Michael Mehrtens had not been successful and the Navy and police dive teams would be suspending the recovery operation.
"The family is understandably disappointed at this setback but we will continue to support them as will their family and friends," said Inspector Craig McKay.
Mehrtens went missing after the Hughes 50 helicopter he was flying went down in Lake Sumner, about 140 kilometres from Christchurch, last Monday.
He had been contracted to spray gorse by the Department of Conservation.
McKay said it had been a challenging environment to work in with difficult access and terrain.
"We will complete our review and then be better placed to make an informed decision about continuing the recovery operation. It's not possible to say when that review will be completed and any decision made."
The helicopter wreckage was located 127 metres under the lake's surface yesterday. It is unclear how the helicopter will be recovered at this stage.