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The Rescue 116 Irish Coast Guard helicopter was providing topcover for rescue 115 on a medevac off the coast of Erris when contact was lost: one casualty confirmed
A new tragedy shakes the Irish SAR community. A Sikorsky S-92 Irish Coast Guard helicopter with four people on board went missing and allegedly crashed off the coast of Erris, Ireland, in the early morning of March 14, 2017. Contact was lost with the crew at around 1am.
An intense sea search was launched off the Co Mayo coast - around six miles west of Blacksod.
One crew member (the pilot of the S92) has been found but died in hospital soon after treatment, while a search was continuing for the other three crew from the Dublin-based aircraft, which was providing cover for another helicopter involved in an early morning rescue operation. The crew member, whose condition was described as critical, was taken to hospital.
A Coast Guard spokesman said the missing helicopter had been providing cover in the evacuation of a crewman who needed urgent medical attention, from a UK-registered fishing vessel approximately 150 miles west of Eagle Island in Co Mayo.
IRISH COAST GUARD SIKORSKY S-92 FLEET
A fleet of 5 Sikorsky search-and-rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo. The helicopters respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains across island of Ireland and they’re also used during flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers and aerial surveillance. The S92s fleet of the Irish Coast Guard handle about 2,500 marine emergencies each year.
Dublin's Transport Minister Shane Ross expressed his "deep concern" over the helicopter's disappearance: "As the search for the Dublin-based helicopter R116 is currently under way I would like to express my sincere support and sympathies for all those involved, particularly those family members who are awaiting news of their loved ones.
The head of the Irish coastguard has said hopes of finding three missing crew from a coastguard helicopter are "fading fast".
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