Latest: Families of missing crewmen ask fishing boats to join search

Update 9pm: The families of the two missing Rescue 116 crewmen, Paul Ormbsy and Ciaran Smith, have appealed to fishing vessels along the north west coast to join the search.

The appeal comes after the underwater search at the site of the helicopter crash off the Mayo coast failed to find any trace of the men.

The RNLI has agreed to co-ordinate with fishing boats that want to help.

Ciaran's sister Orla Smith says the families just want to bring their loved ones home.

"It is a living nightmare for all of us, for all of my family and for Paul Ormsby's family. It is a living nightmare," she said.

"We're doing our best to keep going and stay as strong as possible and as positive as we possibly can, but it is tough. It is really, really tough.

"We need those boys home now, we really do. My parents need him home, my sister-in-law needs him home, my nieces need him home. They have to come home now.

Earlier: The wreckage of the Irish Coast Guard helicopter which crashed last month has been recovered from the sea.

Dive teams still haven't managed to locate the two missing crew members, Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby, but searchers say they won't give up.

The Irish Coast Guard's Gerard O'Flynn says the fuselage from Rescue 116 has now been lifted on board the Irish Lights' vessel the Granuaile.

"That was picked up by a tug, by a company based in Bere Island in Cork. They were working with us over the last day or two.

"It's been transferred onto the Granuaile and is now in the custody of the Air Accident Investigation Unit and they will determine its final location to facilitate their own investigation," he said.

Addressing the media after last night's operation, Jurgen Whyte from the Air Accident Investigation Unit said lifting the wreckage was a difficult and hazardous operation, which required special skills.

"What we did actually retrieve is the rotor head, the main gearbox, one engine, and associated wreckage around that.

"It was what we expected to lift. The lifting was a really extreme and hazardous environment and I really have to compliment all the people that were involved," he said.

The Granuaile arrives back into Blacksod, Co. Mayo, Ireland, with wreckage from Coastguard helicopter Rescue 116 onboard. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire


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