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29th Mar 2017

BREAKING a helicopter with five people on board is missing over the Irish Sea

Gillian Fitzpatrick

A helicopter with five people on board has gone missing over the Irish Sea.

A spokesman for the UK Coastguard confirmed that a search is now underway near Wales, reports RTE.

The aircraft – believed to be a privately-owned twin squirrel red helicopter – left Milton Keynes for Dublin today.

Radar contact with the helicopter was lost this afternoon and the search operation kicked off at 4.15pm.

The Irish Coastguard is assisting.

UK Coastguard duty commander Peter Davies told RTE: “We are in the process of contacting all the vessels in the Irish Sea that were in the vicinity around midday and we are continuing Mayday broadcast action for any vessels currently in the area to contact us if they have any further information.

“At the moment we are appealing to these vessels and to the public that if they have seen a twin squirrel red helicopter to please contact 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

The Maritime And Coastguard Agency furthermore confirmed that “an extensive land-based search of fields and airfields” had taken place in the Caernarfon area of Wales.