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A stock image of a S-92 Coast Guard helicopter. Alamy Stock Photo
Irish Coast Guard

British officials launch probe after Irish Coast Guard helicopter's emergency landing in Derry

It is understood that the incident on Sunday involved the Sligo based rescue helicopter.

LAST UPDATE | 9 Feb 2023

AN IRISH COAST Guard helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing after a “serious incident in flight”.

It is understood that the incident on Sunday involved the Sligo-based rescue helicopter, Rescue 118.

Sources said that it declared an emergency and landed at Derry airport without any injuries to the crew. 

The British Air Accident Investigation Branch confirmed in a statement that they were investigating the incident.  

“On Sunday, the Branch was notified of an Irish Coastguard helicopter which made an emergency landing at City of Derry airport, Eglinton after suffering a serious incident in flight.

“An investigation has been launched and inspectors are in the process of gathering evidence about the circumstances of this event. A report will be published on the AAIB website once the investigation is complete,” the statement read, referring to the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch. 

It is not been confirmed what caused the in flight incident. 

The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-92, is operated on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard on a contract basis with US company CHC Helicopters. 

The last major incident involving a Coast Guard helicopter was the tragic loss of four crew in the crash of a Dublin-based helicopter in March 2017 off the Mayo coast.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport, which has responsibility for the Coast Guard, confirmed that the helicopter suffered the mishap after travelling through bad weather. 

“On Sunday the Sligo based Coast Guard helicopter, carried out a controlled landing at Derry airport having encountered a turbulent weather event, while on route to a pre-planned training exercise. On foot of this event a comprehensive maintenance check was carried out by a CHC Helicopter engineering team.

“The helicopter was declared serviceable and returned to service on Tuesday.

“CHC Helicopter in Accordance with standard operating procedures reported the event to the Air Accident Investigation Unit(AAIU) and additionally in this instance to the UK Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB),” a spokesperson said. 

The incident was raised in the Seanad this morning by Senator Gerard Craughwell. 

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