The Marine Institute ship RV Celtic Voyager is providing specialist support to assist in a major sea search off the county Mayo coast approximately six miles west of Blacksod to locate an Irish Coast Guard helicopter believed to have entered the sea at approximately 1am on Tuesday 14th March.
The Dublin based search and rescue helicopter R116 had been providing 'top cover' during a medical evacuation of a crewman from a UK registered fishing vessel approximately 150 miles west of Eagle Island in County Mayo, which was completed by Sligo based Coast Guard helicopter R118.
The RV Celtic Voyager is assisting with the search operation this morning approximately six miles west of Balcksod. Marine Institute staff from the INFOMAR team, (the national seabed mapping programme) are assisting with the search using specialist multibeam sonar equipment onboard the national research vessel, RV Celtic Voyager.
The search operation is being coordinated by the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre in Malin Head. The RV Celtic Voyager was diverted yesterday from an undergraduate training survey with GMIT, to assist with the search following a request by the Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport. Coast Guard search and rescue helicopters, the Air Corps, Navy, RNLI and a number of local fishing vessels are involved in the search operation.