Police divers are expected to resume the search today for five people believed to have perished when a helicopter crashed off the coast of Port Stephens on Friday night.
The specialist officers travelled to waters off Anna Bay yesterday, where they were briefed, surveyed the scene and conducted a risk assessment, after conditions eased earlier than expected.
Police had considered sending divers into the ocean yesterday to begin the search, but that did not eventuate.
Investigators plan to resume the search today, if weather and ocean conditions permit.
A NSW Police Marine Command vessel could be seen combing an area of water off the coast of Fishermans Bay on Wednesday afternoon, in what is being described as the "splashdown area".
Queensland men Jamie Ogden and Grant Kuhnemann, married Sydney couple Jocelyn Villanueva and Gregory Miller, and the chopper's pilot and owner David Kerr - also a Queensland man - have not been found since the helicopter disappeared from the Williamtown air traffic control radar at 6.49pm on Friday.
No emergency beacon signals or mayday calls were detected before the crash.
The Newcastle Herald reported earlier this week that part of the helicopter wreckage - the tail rotor and airframe - were spotted by emergency crews about 8km south of Fingal Bay on Sunday, but they sunk before being collected.
Several days of wild wind and rough seas have hampered the recovery mission.
But, according to Weather Zone, a 1.5m to 2m swell is predicted off-shore of the Hunter coast for Thursday, dropping to about 1m by noon.
Northerly winds of 15-20 knots in the morning are expected to swing west to north-westerly, tending north-west to north-easterly in the afternoon.
The Air Transport Safety Bureau is investigating how the Bell UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, which departed from Brisbane and stopped to refuel at Coffs Harbour before the crash, ran into trouble.
The bureau is collecting evidence and expects to complete a report on its investigation in the second quarter of next year.
Meanwhile, police are continuing their call for witnesses and want to talk to anyone who may have been in the Anna Bay or Fishermans Bay area between 5pm and 7pm on Friday who may have pictures or footage of the helicopter.
Police are urging witnesses to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The Air Transport Safety Bureau is also asking anyone who saw the chopper over Anna Bay to contact them on 1800 992 986.
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