Latest: No mechanical anomalies found on Rescue 116 recorder, says Air Accident Investigation Unit

Update 5.15pm: The Air Accident Investigation Unit has released a statement confirming that no mechanical anomalies were found on the health and usage monitoring system and multi-purpose flight recorder recovered from Rescue 116.

"The AAIU is mindful that Sikorsky S-92A helicopters are in operation around the world in a variety of roles, including search and rescue.

"Following an event such as this, many operators and agencies are anxious to learn if any matters are identified during the ongoing investigation that may require immediate safety actions.

"The Investigation is still at a preliminary stage. However, an initial analysis has been conducted of the data retrieved from the helicopter’s health and usage monitoring system and the multi-purpose flight recorder.

"No mechanical anomalies have been identified during this initial analysis."

The statement, released on behalf of chief inspector of air accidents, Jurgen Whyte and investigator-in-charge, Paul Farrell, said investigations are ongoing and a preliminary report will be released in the near future.

Update 4.15pm: Specialist salvage teams are waiting for a weather window to attempt to move Rescue 116.

Rough sea conditions have been hampering diving attempts this afternoon.

It is hoped moving the helicopter will give some indication of the whereabouts of the two crewmembers who are still missing.

"It's important to remember there is absolutely no evidence as to where the casualties might be," said Gerard O'Flynn from the Coast Guard (pictured below).

"This is an important piece of evidence and we want to carry out a very detailed inspection of that wreckage. That's the only evidence we have at the moment.

"The wreckage is there but we haven't had the opportunity to conduct an inspection of it yet."

Update 10am: Weather has hampered the search efforts this week and Gerard O'Flynn from the Coastguard says that may be the case again.

He said: "It's all subject to the weather, the plan today is to affect a movement of the wreck initially to facilitate an underwater ins[pection using a remotely operated vehicle.

"But it is all very much subject to weather and weather conditions, as people are well aware, are quite marginal."

Earlier: It is hoped attempts can be made today to salvage the wreckage of downed helicopter Rescue 116.

A specialist salvage tug has arrived in the waters around Blacksod with the intention of lifting the helicopter.

Sea conditions have hampered the retrieval effort over the past week.

Searches for the two crew members of Rescue 116 still missing - Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith - have been ongoing since mid-March.


Most Read in Ireland