A rescue effort for Canadians in Antarctica has now tragically turned into a recovery operation.

Three Canadians, including 25-year-old Calgarian Mike Denton, are presumed dead after the de Havilland Twin Otter they were in went down on Wednesday.

The aircraft was operated by Calgary-based Kenn Borek Air.

Officials at the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre say it appears the impact was direct and into a steep slope near the summit of Mount Elizabeth.

Denton was not only a crew member, he was also a newlywed.

His Facebook page includes smiling pictures of his wedding, as well as images from the sky.

One photo has the caption: “Finally flying! sure beats the vies from my old office.”

He was expected home after the flight to an Italian base near the south pole.

Pilot Bob Heath of Inuvik, N.W.T. was a very experienced pilot in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions and it’s still not clear what caused the crash.

Next of kin for all the presumed victims have been informed.

The name of the third crew member has not been released.