Gardaí have confirmed that equipment discovered on a Mayo beach over the weekend belonged to a crewmember of the missing Rescue 116 helicopter.
The Coastguard helicopter crashed in March with the death of all four crewmembers on board - however the bodies of winchmen Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby have never been found.
This evening, gardaí confirmed that a lifejacket and helmet – found washed up on a beach near Clogher on Saturday morning – belonged to Mr Smith.
Rescue 116 Captain Dara Ftizpatrick died in hospital after being recovered from the water following the crash.
The remains of pilot Mark Duffy were discovered in the wreckage of the aircraft a number of weeks later.
Gardaí believe the find indicates that Mr Smith’s body is somewhere in the water near Blacksod and the find is likely to lead to further searches in the area.
Investigators have urged anyone who finds anything of interest to report it.