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"Technical issue" delays Irish Coastguard's long range sea rescue mission

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The Coast Guard said its helicopter had problems while refuelling on an oil rig

The Coast Guard said its helicopter had problems while refuelling on an oil rig

The Coast Guard said its helicopter had problems while refuelling on an oil rig

ENGINEERS are anxiously trying to repair a “technical issue” on an S-92 search and rescue helicopter that landed on an oil rig to refuel during a long-range rescue attempt.

The Shannon-based aircraft was dispatched this morning following an emergency call to say that a woman in her 70s had taken ill on a cruise ship bound for Cork.

The call was received by the coastguard yesterday however the ship, which set off from America, was 400 nautical miles from Mizen Head.

The helicopter landed and refuelled on the rig, which is 100 miles from the coast, in order to reach the ship, which it outside its normal range.

However it experienced technical difficulties and cannot take off again for safety reasons.

A coastguard spokeswoman said that the operation was ongoing and that the Waterford helicopter would be dispatched if the issue cannot be resolved.

The ship is continuing to make its way to Cork and the condition of the woman is unknown. It is hoped that she can be airlifted to Cork University Hospital.

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