Dáil Éireann - Volume 446 - 02 November, 1994

Written Answers. - Search and Rescue Service.

144. Mr. R. Burke asked the Minister for the Marine the proposals, if any, he has to assign responsibility for the operation of the search and rescue service to the Air Corps. [2474/94]

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Andrews): The existing contract for the provision of a medium range search and rescue helicopter service based at Shannon was placed with Irish Helicopters Limited in June 1991 following Government approval. This contract runs until the end of 1996 and performance to date has fully lived up to expectations. Since 1991 the contracted helicopter service has carried out over 400 missions and has saved 282 lives.

The Government decided in 1991 that the option of a medium range search and rescue helicopter service being provided by the Air Corps should be examined and costed. That option is currently being evaluated.