AN IRISH COAST Guard helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing after a “serious incident in flight”.

It is understood that the incident on Sunday involved the Sligo-based rescue helicopter, Rescue 118.

Sources said that it declared an emergency and landed at Derry airport without any injuries to the crew. 

The British Air Accident Investigation Branch confirmed in a statement that they were investigating the incident.  

“On Sunday, the Branch was notified of an Irish Coastguard helicopter which made an emergency landing at City of Derry airport, Eglinton after suffering a serious incident in flight.

“An investigation has been launched and inspectors are in the process of gathering evidence about the circumstances of this event. A report will be published on the AAIB website once the investigation is complete,” the statement read, referring to the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch. 

It is not been confirmed what caused the in flight incident. 

The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-92, is operated on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard on a contract basis with US company CHC Helicopters. 

The last major incident involving a Coast Guard helicopter was the tragic loss of four crew in the crash of a Dublin-based helicopter in March 2017 off the Mayo coast.

The Journal has requested a statement from The Department of Transport, which has responsibility for the Coast Guard. 

The incident was raised in the Seanad this morning by Senator Gerard Craughwell. 

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