Europe

Divers to raise R116 coastguard helicopter wreckage

Clockwise from top left: Cpt Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt Mark Duffy, winch man Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Four people died when the helicopter plunged into the sea on 14 March

Divers are working to recover the wreckage of crashed Irish Coastguard helicopter R116 from the sea bed off the Mayo coast in the Republic of Ireland.

Four people died after the helicopter plunged into the sea on 14 March.

Cpt Dara Fitzpatrick died after she was rescued from the sea.

Captain Mark Duffy's body was recovered at the weekend. A search for the bodies of winch operator Paul Ormsby and winch man Ciaran Smith continues.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The body of Captain Mark Duffy was recovered at the weekend

Weather and sea conditions on the west coast have made the operation very challenging for divers.

The helicopter wreckage was found a short distance from Blackrock island, about 10 kms (6.2 miles) off the coastline, at a depth of about 40m.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Members of the Irish coastguard scan the coastline

On Friday, the black box recorder from the rescue helicopter was recovered.

R116 lost contact with the Irish coastguard at about 01:00 on 14 March, as it made its final approach to Blacksod refuelling depot.

The crew had been providing communications support to another coastguard helicopter that had been deployed to take an injured fisherman to hospital.

The wreckage of R116 was pinpointed after search teams deployed a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), fitted with an underwater camera.

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