IRISH rescue services were today launching a major search for a missing yacht which is feared to have got into difficulty during a transatlantic voyage.
The "Golden Eagle", a 32 foot vessel, departed from Bermuda in the middle of last month and was due to dock in Crookhaven in Co Cork last week
There are two crew members - a 69 year old Norwegian and a 60 year old New Zealander.
It is known that the Golden Eagle sailed from the US Virgin Islands to Bermuda and then set out for Crookhaven on 21 August, where they were due to arrive last Thursday.
However no radio contact has been made with the yacht since it set out for its Irish destination, alerting coastguard services over their continuing safety.
An initial search off the Cork coast was carried out by the Shannon based coastguard helicopter.
It is understood that an Aer Corp reconnaissance aircraft with four naval vessels will take part in the search operation.
The major fear for the yacht's safety stems from the fact that it would have been sailing through a part of the Atlantic when the tail end of Hurricane Katia was still active.