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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Search for missing Rescue 116 crew members postponed until Monday due to bad weather

Strong winds, a high sea level and poor visibility made it too unsafe for the operation to commence.

File photo of emergency services taking part in search for Rescue 116 crew members.
File photo of emergency services taking part in search for Rescue 116 crew members.
Image: Eamonn Farrell

SEARCHES FOR THE remaining missing crew members of the Rescue 116 Coast Guard helicopter have been postponed until Monday due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Searches were set to resume today for the remaining two missing crew members of the Coast Guard helicopter, which crashed in March while preparing to refuel at Blacksod, County Mayo.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered at sea soon after the helicopter went down, but died later in hospital. The body of pilot Mark Duffy was found in the wreckage of the helicopter some weeks later.

The bodies of winch operator Paul Ormsby (53) and winchman Ciarán Smith (38) have yet to be recovered.

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said that the weather conditions were too unfavourable for the search to continue this weekend as planned.

Strong winds, a high sea level and poor visibility made it too unsafe for the operation to commence.

The spokesperson said that the weather would be reevaluated on Monday, and if conditions are okay to search will continue.

Search operations persisted for many weeks after the helicopter went down.

Read: Favourable weather conditions to aid fresh search for missing Rescue 116 crew members

Read: Pilot flagged concerns that island was not on mapping system 4 years before Rescue 116 crash

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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