NewsNews

LATEST: Search crews hope to lift wreckage of Irish Coast Guard helicopter

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
LATEST: Search crews hope to lift wreckage of Irish Coast Guard helicopter

Search crews are hoping that sea conditions will remain calm to allow them to lift the wreckage of an Irish Coast Guard helicopter on the Atlantic seabed.

Vessels involved in diving to and lifting the wreckage from a depth of 40m off Blackrock island have been at sea since early morning in anticipation of improved sea conditions.

A four metre swell in the channel off the island’s south-east tip yesterday frustrated attempts to dive and place lifting strops on the wreckage as part of the search for two missing airmen Paul Ormsby (53) and Ciaran Smith (38).

On Saturday, the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) found that the The Irish Coast Guard’s Rescue 116 Sikorsky S-92 helicopter had “no mechanical anomalies” before it crashed off the north Mayo coast with the loss of all four air crew.

Rescue 116 lies 40m down, with divers needing swells below 3m for a safe recovery operation.

It is almost three weeks since the helicopter crashed into Blackrock Island.

The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy have been recovered.