Two rescue helicopters conduct long-range mission off Irish coast

The Irish Coastguard were tasked to undergo a medical evacuation
The Irish Coastguard were tasked to undergo a medical evacuation

Two Irish Coastguard rescue helicopters have been dispatched 100 miles off the Irish coast to attend a 'critically ill' man.

The coastguard received a call from a ship off the southwest coast of the country after a man became seriously ill on board last night.

Two rescue helicopters have been tasked to undergo a medical evacuation on the MV Atlantic Cartier.

"We have a Shannon-based helicopter also involved as it's a long-range mission," an Irish Coastguard spokesperson told

"The Shannon-based helicopter will provide top cover support and keep communications flowing," he explained.

"Our Valencia-based coastguard is coordinating the mission.

"The mission is ongoing as strong galeforce winds are now expected."

The ship is currently about 100 miles off the coast at Fastnet Rock. 

The condition of the crew member is not yet known. 

Met Eireann has issued a number of weather warnings which make the rescue mission much more dangerous. 

A Status Red warning, issued this morning, has been issued for Connacht, Donegal, Clare and Kerry.

They have also issued two Orange warnings, the second highest level.

The first of these is for wind in Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo where gusts of up to 120kph are forecast from this morning until Saturday evening.

The second Orange warning is for rain in Cavan, Clare, Cork and Limerick where they too will have 'incessant' rain with up to 70mm forecast from tonight until the early hours of Sunday morning.