Academy award winning sound editor Mike Hopkins has died after a rafting accident in New Zealand, police said on Monday.
According to BBC News, Hopkins, 53, drowned on Sunday, December 30 after the raft he and friends were on in the Waiohine River in the Wellington region capsized.
Rescue helicopter crew found Hopkins dead some distance downstream from his two companions. The two females were both recovered alive, one by a local jetboater.
Police reports say all three aboard the vessel were wearing proper rafting gear at the time of the accident.
“All three were wearing lifejackets, wetsuits and helmets at the time,” Police Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson told the New Zealand Herald. “We would like to 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 female.”
“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”
A long-time collaborator of Peter Jackson, Hopkins won Oscars for his work on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2003 and King Kong in 2006 while working along side Ethan Van der Ryn.
Hopkins also worked on other Jackson movies such as Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners.
His other film credits include several other notable movies including Blade Runner, Superman, The Last Emperor, Octopussy, Public Enemies, Valkyrie, Kung Fu Panda, and Dreamgirls.
Mike Hopkins previously appeared in the following video about sound editing on the Lord of the Rings trilogy: