DUBLIN, March 14 (Xinhua) -- While the search for three missing crew members of a helicopter continued, the hope of finding them have been fading, according to the Irish Coast Guard on Tuesday.
The Dublin-based coast guard helicopter R116 with four crew on board went missing off the west coast of County Mayo at approximately 1:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT).
One crew member was located in critical condition, while the search for the other three members was still underway around 10 km west of Blacksod in County Mayo. Wreckage was also located in the search area.
Eugene Clonan, head of operations of the Irish Coast Guard, said he was "not holding out much hope" for the missing crew.
He said the last communication with Rescue 116 was at 12:45 a.m. local time when it said it was approaching Blacksod to refuel after providing support to another helicopter, Rescue 118, and that there was no indication of any problem.
In a press release, the Irish Coast Guard said a Sligo-based coast guard helicopter, R118, completed an early morning medical evacuation of a crewman requiring urgent medical attention from a Britain registered fishing vessel approximately 150 miles west of Eagle Island in County Mayo.
"Owing to the distance involved, safety and communication support, known as Top Cover, was provided by the second coast guard helicopter, the Dublin-based R116," the Irish Coast Guard said.
A search began when Rescue 116 failed to respond, he added.
Clonan said Rescue 116, a Sikorsky S92, was a very new aircraft and had had regular maintenance checks.
Search and rescue helicopters from nearby towns were involved in the sea search, along with a plane, all weather lifeboats, and local fishing boats.
An Irish naval ship was also in the search zone to assist.