Experts hoping to partially raise wreckage of Rescue 116 helicopter

The body of Captain Mark Duffy was recovered from the cockpit yesterday

Experts hoping to partially raise wreckage of Rescue 116 helicopter

Picture by: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

Technical experts are hoping to raise the wreckage of the Rescue 116 helicopter off the sea floor today.

The search & rescue operation has been underway since the Coast Guard helicopter crashed on March 14th, although until late last week the operation had been hampered due to poor weather conditions.

A search is continuing for two missing crewmen - winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith.

The body of Captain Mark Duffy was recovered from the cockpit yesterday, while Captain Dara Fitzpatrick also lost her life in the crash.

Today, air bags will be used to float part of the wreckage a few feet to allow camera equipment and divers access the site around Blackrock island off the coast of Co Mayo.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Lorna Siggins of The Irish Times explained what will happen.

She explained: "The fuselage itself is really [spread] all over the place in an area the size of a football field [...] But they do hope they may be able to lift a section.

"They're hoping to use airbags to very slowly raise that - not to the surface, but to raise it sufficiently to allow the ROV [remotely operated underwater vehicle] to see underneath... Then perhaps the divers will go down."