Aerial search for missing Dublin-bound helicopter hampered by poor visibility

The UK Coastguard is coordinating the search over the Irish Sea

Aerial search for missing Dublin-bound helicopter hampered by poor visibility

File photo. Picture by: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images

The search for a helicopter that has gone missing over the Irish Sea has been partially suspended.

Five people were on board the privately-owned aircraft, which left Milton Keynes en route to Dublin.

Radar contact was lost and a search operation was launched shortly after 4pm yesterday afternoon.

The twin squirrel red helicopter's last communication was received just after 12pm.

Search operations are being hampered by bad weather, with visibility low.

In their latest update, the UK Coastguard - who are coordinating the aerial search - said: "Due to low lying cloud, visibility has been extremely poor and has hampered the search efforts.

"The helicopters have now returned to their respective bases and there are no plans at this stage to continue the aerial search unless the weather improves significantly."

Two UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopters have been involved in the operation.

North Wales Police, meanwhile, are coordinating ground searches.

The Irish Coast Guard yesterday said it had been undertaking a "communications search" on maritime frequency bands to try and locate the aircraft, and are ready to support the search if requested to do so.