Northern Ireland

Light aircraft: Families of missing passengers thank search teams

Ray Hymas, left, and Terry Driffield went missing on Thursday when their light aircraft disappeared Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Ray Hymas, left, and Terry Driffield went missing on Thursday when the light aircraft they were travelling in disappeared

The families of Terry Driffield and Ray Hymas, who went missing after the light aircraft they were travelling in disappeared, have thanked the rescue teams searching for them.

Mr Driffield, 66, and Mr Hymas, 68, are both from North Yorkshire.

Their Ikarus C42 microlight disappeared after leaving City of Derry Airport for Scotland on Thursday.

Debris from the aircraft was found on Friday but no further wreckage was found over the weekend.

Sonar equipment is being used to search in water around Glenarm and Carn Point.

Image caption Debris was found off the County Antrim coast on Friday

A PSNI spokesperson said the families of the men wanted to express thanks to all agencies involved in the search, "in particular all the volunteers who have given up their time to search for their loved ones".

Speaking about the search operation, Insp Michael McDonnell said a police helicopter has conducted over-flights of the harbour and further out to sea.

"The Community Rescue Service team will continue in their search of the area and they along with Police will continue to respond to any sightings reported," he said.

On Monday, Sean McCarry from the Community Rescue Service, told BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster: "The focus would be to find any of the main fuselage, which would be still intact.

"That would give us assistance in trying to recover whatever would be in the wreckage but also the Air Accident Investigation team would be able to come to a speedy conclusion.

Image caption Sean McCarry said the search for a missing aircraft is like looking for a "needle in a haystack"

"It is a massive area of water that needs searched, we have no entry point, we don't know what happened exactly.

"The search underwater is pretty much a needle in a haystack."

More on this story