Searches Continue For Missing Coastguard Crew Off West Coast

Photo: © Pat Flynn

Efforts are continuing to find three crewmen from a coastguard helicopter missing off the west coast.

Rescue 116 disappeared from radar screens several miles off the Mayo coast shortly before 1 o’clock this morning, with 4 people on board.



About 12 hours ago the coastguard lost contact with Rescue 116 as the helicopter was coming in to refuel in Co Mayo.

It was due to join Rescue 118 in a supervising capacity as the other helicopter carried out a Medevac mission.

However the rescue efforts turned instead to finding the helicopter shortly after they lost contact.

Director of the Coastguard Eugene Clonan said it’s been a tough day.

There was no mayday call from Rescue 116.

Shortly before sunrise the coastguard picked up one of the crew, who is in a critical condition.

They also spotted debris, which is spread over a wide field and was first spotted less than two miles from Blackrock lighthouse.

Jurgen Whyte is the Chief Aeronautical Officer with the Air Accident Investigation Unit

He says they’re hopeful the helicopter’s black box will tell them what went wrong.

For now, the search continues.