An RCMP recovery team is trying to make its way to the site of a helicopter crash in a remote area of northern Manitoba.

Access to the site, about 35 kilometres west of Gillam, is extremely limited and it is believed the main part of the craft might be submerged in a lake, RCMP said.

Members of the RCMP dive team are part of the crew heading to the site to search for the pilot, who remains missing since the crash on Monday.

The helicopter, a Bell 206 from St. Andrews-based Custom Helicopters, left Gillam at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday to pick up some boaters at a location about 50 kilomeres away, but it didn't make it there.

Search and rescue crews from CFB Trenton were contacted just before 12 a.m. Tuesday and a Hercules aircraft was dispatched from Winnipeg.

Thick smoke from forest fires in the area made the task difficult but the crash site, with some sections of the craft visible on the ground, was located at about noon Tuesday.

Now it's a matter of trying to get into the site for a close look, RCMP said.

Gillam is located about 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg.


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