Report Finds "Confusion" Among Irish Search And Rescue Agencies
The final report into Search and Rescue Aviation Operations in Ireland has found "confusion" and "potential conflicts of interest" among the different agencies involved.
The review puts forward 12 recommendations and the Government has pledged to implement them "without delay."
The review, carried out by a "team of external, international experts" after the Rescue 116 crash that took the lives of four Coast Guard officers in Mayo in March 2017.
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy and winch operators Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith all died after the helicopter went down off Blackrock Island on March 14th.
The review did not examine the circumstances of the crash itself and the authors warned that there is no intention to establish any link between their findings and the accident.
It found "several sources of confusion and potential conflicts of interest" amongst the agencies involved in search and rescue operations and warned that this has resulted in a "lack of a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities."
It makes 12 key recommendations - including clearly assigning the Irish Aviation Authority with responsibility for civil aviation search and rescue missions.
It also calls for engagement with the EU in an effort to standardise procedures for search and rescue operations across the bloc.
The Transport Minister has called for "all necessary steps be taken without delay to ensure speedy implementation of all of the recommendations" contained in the review.