Search continues for missing Rescue 116 crewmen

The wreckage has been located off the Mayo coast

Search continues for missing Rescue 116 crewmen

Photo shows Aer Corp helicopter as it lands for refuelling | Image: RollingNews.ie

It is thought bodies of the missing crew of the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 could be recovered from the sea off Mayo within hours.

Yesterday search teams used a remote-control vehicle to find the underwater wreckage.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) said the wreckage was found on the sea bed on the eastern side of Black Rock, at a depth of approximately 40 metres.

It is thought the bodies of three crew could still be onboard, but the weather needs to improve before divers can access the chopper.

The AAIU said Monday they believe the helicopter had struck rocks around Black Rock Island.

A significant amount of wreckage has already been taken from the sea and is undergoing a detailed examination.

Fergus Sweeney is a photojournalist in the area.

He says locals are hoping the families involved will be able to bring the crew home.

"A lot of people are hoping that the remains of the crewmen are with Rescue 116 wreckage.

"Because obviously if the crew members are onboard it means that the search doesn't have to go on and that hopefully those remains can be recovered and brought back to their loved ones".