Latest: Fleet of trawlers to search for missing Rescue 116 crewmen as wreckage is brought ashore

Update 5.30pm: A large fleet of trawlers is being organised to search part of the Atlantic off the northwest coast for the two winchmen missing from crashed Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116.

The wreckage of the Sikorsky S-92 has been brought ashore after being lifted from the seabed on Sunday, nearly three weeks after the accident.

It will be taken to an air accident investigation facility in Co Meath.

Parts of the helicopter were found off the coast of Donegal last week, and a flotilla of trawlers is to leave Donegal on Friday in a co-ordinated search for Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby.

Sean O'Donoghue, of the Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation, and Francis O'Donnell, of the Irish Fish Producers' Organisation, told RTÉ: "The intention is to search northwards from Blackrock covering Donegal Bay and further north.

"This search has been discussed with the Coast Guard and they are very appreciative of our support, advice and continued assistance. In addition to this coordinated search we are asking all fishing vessels operating in the area to keep a close eye out for any debris from the helicopter."

Earlier: Air Corps and Irish Coast Guard helicopters are today continuing the search off the Mayo coast for missing Rescue 116 crewmen Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby.

Shoreline searches are also taking place later.

The Coast Guard says underwater operations will resume tomorrow near the lighthouse.

Irish Coast Guard spokesman Declan Geoghegan described where they will be looking.

"We'll be extending right up to Donegal Bay, and westwards from there, and looking at the weather, which will be beneficial to us at the weekend, when there'll be an intensive surface search of the area," he said.

"But the important search will be the ROV search around Blackrock."


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