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Mike Hopkins, Oscar winning sound editor and long-time associate of Peter Jackson, has died in a rafting accident.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the news of his death was confirmed by The Australian, AAP, which notes that the 53-year-old drowned in the Waiohine River in Wellington, despite wearing a helmet and a life jacket. His raft reportedly capsized.
Hopkins, 53, was traveling with two others, his wife Nicci, and a friend who survived the accident, New York Daily News reports. According to the report, Nicci clung to the raft before grasping onto an outcropping and was found two hours later.
Jackson released a statement following the news of Hopkins’ death saying, “I know I can speak for the many actors, directors, production and post-production crew who were lucky enough to work with Mike, in saying that he will be terribly missed.”
The award winning sound editor is most noted for his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Heavenly Creatures, The Frighteners, Transformers as well as King Kong.