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Saturday 17 March 2018

Two feared dead after debris from missing aircraft found off Irish coast

Six coastguard rescue teams and two rescue helicopters were involved in the search.
Six coastguard rescue teams and two rescue helicopters were involved in the search.

Two people are feared dead after debris from a missing microlight was found in the sea north of Glenarm in Co Antrim.

The debris was found about 1km off the coast. A search for the passengers is ongoing.

The aircraft went missing after leaving City of Derry Airport with another light aircraft that landed safely in Scotland on Thursday.

The search was launched on Thursday evening when the light aircraft, which had two people on board, was reported overdue.

The operation continued to 3am, but had to be suspended due to fog.

The flight took off from the City of Derry airport and had been tracking towards Stranraer.

The air, land and sea search resumed when the morning fog lifted on Friday.

A fixed wing aircraft and the Irish Coastguard search and rescue helicopter are involved.

Coastguard search teams are carrying out a shore search while RNLI lifeboats are out looking in the North Channel.

The Northern Ireland North West Mountain Rescue Team has assisted the operation.

Community Rescue Service also assisted using thermal imaging technology.

Sean McCarry, from the Community Rescue Service, told the BBC "the chances of finding survivors was less and less" as time goes on.

"We always have to keep up hope but it certainly is a blow when you find wreckage. The most important thing now is to try and identify and find where the two persons who were on the aircraft are and try to put a plan into place to recover those persons.

"These two light aircraft were travelling together. One missed the fog and one entered fog and we're now seeing possibly the results of that."

Belfast Telegraph

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