Picture: Pixabay

Wellington - Three men have been found alive after crashing a helicopter in Subantarctic waters about 450 kilometres south of New Zealand.

A rescue helicopter located the group 16 hours after they went missing late Monday, Maritime New Zealand said in a statement on Tuesday.

The missing crew, two pilots and a medic, were on the way to conduct a private medical evacuation off a fishing vessel about 500 kilometres south of Invercargill, which sits at the bottom of New Zealand's South Island, when their helicopter disappeared.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ duty manager Kevin Banaghan said a fishing boat located wreckage from the missing helicopter Tuesday morning near Yule Island at the northern end of the Subantarctic island group. Two hours later the men were found on a beach on Auckland Island.

Banaghan said the helicopter crew were trained for emergency situations and were wearing cold water immersion suits.

The trio were transported to a hospital in Invercargill for assessment. They were thought to have suffered only minor injuries.

dpa