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Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson leads tributes after sound editor dies in New Zealand rafti

Hopkins drowned on Sunday after his raft capsized in a river on the North Island.

Mike+Hopkins+at+the+78th+Academy+Awards

Oscar-winning sound editor Mike Hopkins, who worked on the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and other blockbusters, has died in a rafting accident in New Zealand.
Police senior sergeant Carolyn Watson said Hopkins, 53, drowned on Sunday after his raft capsized in a river on the North Island.
A river contractor, Bruce Slater, and his son used a jet boat to rescue Hopkins' wife Nicci, who had been in the Waiohine River for two hours and was clinging to a ledge in a narrow part of the gorge too dangerous for bigger boats or a helicopter.
Mr Slater told Fairfax New Zealand the flash flood raised the river two to three meters (9.8ft) while the rafters were in the water.
"If they'd been half an hour earlier, they would have been clear of the gorge," he said.
Half an hour later, the water levels would have been noticeably dangerous before the rafters launched, Mr Slater added.
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Tags: death, lord of the rings / the hobbit
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