Oscar winner dies in raft accident in New Zealand

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Oscar winner dies in raft accident in New Zealand
Oscar winner dies in raft accident in New Zealand

Michael Hopkins (left) with Jennifer Garner and Ethan Van der Ryn: Getty

An Oscar-winning sound editor who worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the King Kong remake has died in a rafting accident in New Zealand.

Michael Hopkins, 53, from Greytown, NZ, died after being thrown from his raft on Sunday, according to the BBC.

In 2006, Hopkins shared an Oscar with Ethan Van der Ryn for Best Achievement in Sound Editing for their work on King Kong.

In 2003, the pair won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing on the second of the Lord of the Rings movies, The Two Towers.

He also worked on Blade Runner, Superman, Octopussy and Transformers, as well as other Peter Jackson films, Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, according to Sky News.

The accident happened in the Waiohine River on New Zealand's North Island while Hopkins was rafting with two companions, who both survived.

Police Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watsontold the BBC: "Police 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.

"All three were wearing life jackets, wetsuits and helmets at the time and it appears that Mr Hopkins got into trouble after they were ejected from the raft in a fast flowing eddie."

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